04 April 2022
Last Updated: 12 May 2022

The message of Easter never fails to encourage me, writes Commissioner Rosalie Peddle. It fuels my spiritual journey with fresh strength, renews my enthusiasm and fills me with a confident hope. This year, I have found inspiration in the three female disciples who appear throughout the tale: Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany and Mary the mother of Jesus.

These three women were not always pictures of perfection in the world’s eyes! One was possessed by an evil spirit, one was a mother who had a reputation for being pushy, and the other was unwed at the time of her firstborn’s birth. But the women were united by their love of Jesus, and his unconditional love for them. They proved this love during the final days of Jesus’ earthly life. Many of his followers fled the scene for their own safety and comfort, but the women stayed.

The female disciples witnessed the crucifixion and grieved their Lord at the foot of the cross. They followed his body as it was laid in the tomb and faithfully fetched the necessary spices and ointments to honour Jesus in his resting place.

Three days of darkness went by when two of the women made their way to the tomb once more. ‘After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.’ But this unassuming visit to the tomb led to a life-changing realization.

‘There was a violent earthquake.’ But, still, the women stayed at the tomb. ‘An angel of the Lord came down from Heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone… His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.’ The guards were so afraid that they shook and fainted in fear, but the women remained strong on their feet.

These female disciples were unmoved and alert in the presence of God, listening as the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid… He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples! … The women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.’

The women had every reason to run away. Would we have blamed them if they had lost hope after the events of Good Friday? But, in an act of great faith, the women stayed! Upon hearing the miracle of the resurrection, these disciples were able to rise up for those on the margins – the disappointed, the dejected, and the hopeless. In the depths of unfathomable grief and shock, the women remained steadfast, unmovable, and resilient followers of Jesus.

What about today? Do we have what it takes to follow Jesus and trace the footsteps of these women? Are our hearts so filled with the passion of Jesus that while so many disciples have fled, lost their way or turned their backs on the gospel, we choose to be among those who stay?

Our world today needs to experience this resurrection power. God is still rolling stones away from our tombs of prejudice, judgement, and hatred. The tombs that trap us into believing we are lost and without hope are no more!

This Easter, let us choose to say yes to new life, let us choose to believe that God is still rolling stones, and let us choose to stay at the feet of Jesus. May it be so, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Watch Commissioner Rosalie's Easter message here.

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