How does Jesus answer the question of gender inequality?
24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
He is alive! This is the turning point, the moment everyone has been waiting for thousands of years since the fall. God’s Kingdom has come, the way has been made home for all of us, the promised Messiah, Saviour is here. He has taken the sins of all mankind on himself, he has suffered the most gruesome death to take the punishment that was meant for us. He died but now he is alive! He has conquered sin and death once and for all!
This week we’ve been looking at inequality. Since the fall, the curse on the woman was that the headship man had over her would bring trouble and anguish instead of the joy and blessing it was intended. Men have used their power to marginalise and oppress women across different eras and cultures and it is no wonder women have had to fight for equality.
In Jesus we see the perfect example of what it means to submit and how it should look like to be a leader. Jesus submitted and made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross. In response God exalted him into the highest place and gave him the name above all names. As a leader, Jesus never used his power to oppress, he redefined leadership to servant leadership and demonstrated this when he washed his disciples’ feet. He said “You know the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as ransom to many.” (Matt. 20:25-28).
We see in the Bible many beautiful stories of how Jesus used His power to elevate and underline the equality of women in radical ways. In today’s reading we see how Jesus chose and trusted women, his good friends, to be the first to find out and tell others the biggest and best news in the history of all times – “He is risen! “
Head: Why does the word ‘submission’ have negative connotations to it?
Heart: To whom in your life do you submit to, and how do you do it? Whom do you have leadership or authority over, and how do you exercise this power?
Hands: Regardless of your gender or position: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Phil. 2:3)
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for submitting to your Father, even though it meant dying on the cross. Because of this I can have a relationship with you and I’m so thankful. Thank you for the example you have given us in your life in what it looks like to submit and to lead. Forgive me for the times that I have failed to follow your example. I pray that you help me in my life to always consider others better than me, help me to serve others sacrificially, to submit to my authorities and to love my neighbours as myself. To you be the glory for ever and ever Amen.
A song to listen to: See the man
Petrina Rangiawha- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina