What the Women Saw

Read: Matthew 27:32-56

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance. (v. 55)

I imagine the women “looking on from a distance” (v. 55) with hands covering mouths and eyes scarcely able to take in the scene. Matthew’s account offers a panoramic masterpiece with exquisite detail. We can look at it a thousand times and see something different with each glance. There’s the gruesome horror of a Roman crucifixion, an eerie three hours of darkness at midday, and the primal cry of a forsaken Jesus wondering where God is. It’s all way too much. But it’s not over.

Even now, in the darkest moment, three other events grab our eyes. The massive temple curtain is torn in two (v. 51), ending the separation between God and humans! Jesus’ death opened the way to God “once for all” (Heb. 7:27). Tombs are opened and some dead resurrect (Matt. 27:52)! Death will one day be “no more” (Rev. 21:4)! And we see a new convert in a Roman centurion. When he saw the events, he said in awe, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matt. 27:54). Salvation is for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord” (Rom. 10:13).

It can be difficult on Good Friday to take a long, hard look at the cross. But when we do, if we look long enough, we’ll sing with the hymn writer, “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.” —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, thank God for the cross.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Jesus Wins!