It is a remarkable fact of the story of Jesus’ suffering and death that His most loyal followers were women. Though modern feminism is much to be deplored by the honest Bible believer, it must readily be admitted that the pompous Jewish religious leaders had become genuinely chauvinistic in their attitude towards women. Many Jewish doctors often wrote that one of the chief things for which they thanked God was that they were not a woman, and they sometimes spoke as if having a daughter rather than a son were a curse. Certainly they never derived such an attitude from any portion of Scripture, but out of their own perverse hearts. Jesus Christ is the true Liberator of women; not from subjection to their husbands, not from drudgery to the workforce, not from the yoke of family service to free promiscuity; but Christ liberates women chiefly from the power and penalty of sin, that they may use their minds, bodies, and spirits in His service. He makes holy women much treasured by holy men, who are not afraid to use the intellect and learning of their wives and sisters for the good of family and church. Christ still expects the duties of women to largely be confined to the household, but the godly woman knows this is the very best place for her, the place where she is most useful, and the place where she will be most useful to her husband and children. Moreover, Christ thinks so highly of our blood-bought sisters that He commands the husband to love his wife even as He Himself loved the church and gave Himself for it.

Loyal, holy women attended Christ to the cross, even though His own disciples had forsaken Him and fled. Present there to witness the Saviour’s agony and death were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and also the mother of Zebedee’s children, whose name is thought to be Salome. We know from John’s account that the Lord’s own mother was also there. Ever conscious of His filial duty, that being made under the law He was obligated to obey the fifth commandment, even as He was dying the Lord commended His dear mother into the care of His beloved disciple John. Surely, there are no better Christians in the world, be they male or female, than those who willingly remain near their Master in good times or ill, in life or in death.

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