Grounded Podcast

— Audio Player —

The Epicenter of Hope, with Daniel Darling

The extraordinary miracle of Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of our hope. Prepare your heart this Holy Week as Daniel Darling leads us through an in-depth look at five women named in Scripture as witnesses of the resurrection. May their stories encourage and equip you to boldly declare the promise that Jesus is risen and He is alive.

Connect with Daniel

Instagram: @_dandarling

Twitter: @dandarling

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanielMDarling

Website: https://danieldarling.com/

Episode Notes:

The Characters of Easter: The Villains, Heroes, Cowards, and Crooks Who Witnessed History’s Biggest Miracle by Daniel Darling

True Girl coloring page

Become a Revive Our Hearts Monthly Partner

Glad You Asked resource available for a gift of any amount

----------------------

Portia Collins: “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.” (Matthew 28:1) 

Dannah Gresh: Wow, beautifully read Portia. Welcome back to Grounded, friends. This is a videocast and podcast from Revive Our Hearts. I'm Dannah Gresh.

Portia: And I'm Portia Collins, and today we are going to go to the epicenter of hope—the empty tomb. We're going to hear the extraordinary news that was first delivered by five ordinary women.

Dannah: If you feel like an ordinary woman today, wow, can God use you? And He's going to use you to deliver hope to this broken world. Do we ever need hope? The headlines are acting like the headlines, Portia, and they're telling us we need some hope. 

Portia: Yes, yes. A lot of trouble in the world. And that's exactly the reason why we need to declare that Christ is risen. 

Dannah: That's right. And I'm ready to do it. Friday night, I had my girls over, we made our peanut butter . . . I don't know if I could call them eggs. They're more like blobs, but they are delicious. Dannah’s peanut butter “eggs” are not beautiful, but they're delicious. And Saturday, I picked up my ham. So I'm ready for Holy Week. But you know what? I didn't know. Portia. 

Portia: What is it? Tell me girl.

Dannah: I wasn't really ready for Holy Week. Because I had to go to . . . I hate to use the word . . . go to church because we are the church. My pastor is trying to drill that into our heads right now. 

Portia: Yes, I got you girl.

Dannah: But I gathered our churches use this pandemic to meet in smaller groups. My group is meeting in a home. And we read the story of Holy Week. That is what church was yesterday. That's all we did. We camped out in what the Bible says in the early days, they gathered together for the reading of the Word.

Portia: Yes, that’s it.

Dannah: My pastor was like we're gonna do that. So we read Holy Week, and I'm telling you, it’s better than my Easter ham. I am now ready for this week because reading that story filled me with hope, cancelled out the headlines. I'm ready to roll. 

Portia: Look. I love your face right now. Like, that lit the fire under me. 

Dannah: Yes.

Portia: And you know how I feel about the Word of God. I always tell people you don't need no extra, nothing extra, the Word can stand by itself. So I'm so happy that you got to experience that yesterday. 

Well, here's the thing we want to consider. How can we be like the women at the tomb? Okay, how can we declare the power of Christ's resurrection to a dark and dying world? 

Dannah: It's hard to declare Christ is risen to a world in which a growing number of people dismiss the resurrection. They say it's some faded tendency of the early ages. Even Christians who believe in God are starting to say it was really just a parable all along. And people tend to think the resurrection story is just hard for a modern woman to believe.

Portia: Hmm, well, let's go there, okay?

Dannah: Yup.

Portia: Okay, let's go. Let's go to the tomb. The moment that a group of women first realize the tomb is empty. I've got to tell the disciples that their friend who was buried with no pulse just three days ago is alive. Like, He ain't here, y'all. He ain't here.

Okay. I'm wondering, did they fear rejection like that? These are women going to tell a group of men, this body is not here. Like, I would have been scared. I wonder if they thought that they would sound crazy. I know, there are moments when I sound crazy, you know? And that intimidates me a little bit. It's like, should I really share this, you know? I'm just wondering what is going through their minds? Did they think that maybe people would think it was just a story that they made up to cope with their grief? I mean, who would believe that? 

And I mean, even in that time, they knew the dead don't usually get up again. So even though we're thinking about this from our sense, our modern sense. We definitely don't think about the dead getting up again.

Dannah: No.

Portia: But for them, that was the case, too. This was like an astronomical thing that had happened. 

Dannah: Okay, so I think what you're saying is, it would have been unbelievable then, too? 

Portia: Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

Dannah: Yeah. Okay. I'm so glad that those ordinary women pushed past their fear. They told the good news that the tomb was in fact, empty. Portia, I think Christ's resurrection matters more than anything on the entire planet. in all of history. 

Portia: Yes. I love that you said that word “history,” because that's what it is. It’s not some parable, its history, it's real. One scholar has written, “If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen, nothing else matters.”

Dannah: Park on that for a second. So, here's the big question we want to answer today. How do we as women play our part to convince a hopeless world that God made flesh, died on a cross, rose from the dead to overcome death for you and for me?

Daniel Darling is here with us this morning. I'm so excited to have him with us. He's going to give us practical thoughts and tools to navigate all the doubt and hopelessness with the only hope we have, the resurrection. We want to equip you to be like those first five women and boldly declare Jesus is alive. But first, as always, we have some good news.

Alejandra Slemin: We have some good news, indeed. Aside from the ones you gave us. But to do this good news today, we're going to need two things. Ladies, we're going to need a flashlight, and we're going to need a shovel. So, Erin, I'm sure you have those two things in your home. 

Erin Davis: Oh, you know, I do. I live with all boys—shovels and flashlights abound. I've always wanted to use them for an archeological dig, which is what we're going to talk about today. My boys would want to dig up dinosaur bones. But we're going to dig out something even more important. 

So before we get to the site of that archeological dig we're going to be talking about this morning, I need to paint the picture. About 100 years after Jesus died, the thing that we are going to celebrate here on Good Friday, there were Jews living under the oppression of the Roman government. Now we know the Roman government was oppressive because of what happened to Jesus. 

So, 100 years later, Jews still living in the area re still feeling the oppressive oppression of that government. In fact, the oppression got so severe that they chose to flee their homes and head into the Judean Desert. 

Now, put yourself in their sandals for just a moment. You are living under an oppressive government, so oppressive you decide to flee into the desert. What are you going to take with you if you're on the run? Are you going to take a sleeping bag? I might try to haul my mattress. I don't think I'd be very successful. But are you going to take some protein bars for the family on the road? Are you going to grab some precious family mementos?

Well, these Jews that we're talking about, they did bring precious treasures with them. They carried with them into the desert the books of Zechariah and Nahum. They were written on ancient scrolls so ancient that archaeologists now tell us that by the time they took them with them into the desert, they were already a century old. 

Alejandra: That is amazing. Because I mean, right now I have a flashlight, I think I might want to take my flashlight with me. 

Erin: No kidding. 

Alejandra: But these Jewish refugees thought that God's Word was essential equipment. That's right, essential equipment, as they fled their homes, they sought shelter in case. Think about that, as we endure hardship, as we endure difficult times. Do we consider God's Word to be our most valuable treasure possession? 

Erin: Hmm, that is a good question to wrestle with. So those men and women, they're long gone. This happened, of course, a long, long time ago. But the treasures that they took with them, those ancient scrolls, they stayed buried deep in the caves where those Jews lived. And for about four years now, archaeologists have been digging in a certain cave in the Judean Desert of Israel, because they're trying to keep artifacts from falling into the hands of cave robbers, which is apparently a growing problem in the area. 

And last week, they announced a discovery. More than 80 fragments from God's Word, written on those ancient scrolls carried by the Jews into those caves. More than 80 fragments of God's Word have been recovered. 

Alejandra: So we’re mentioning in the number 80. I'm just itching to be there. 

Erin: Me too. I mean, I'm sure they wouldn't let us touch them. But I want to see them.

Alejandra: I want to see them. It’d be exciting because listen to what one of the fragments that they found that had the ancient words of Zechariah chapter eight verses 16 and 17 said. “These are the things you are to do is speak the truth to one another, render truth and perfect justice in your gates, and do not contrive evil against one another and do not love perjury, because all those things I hate declares the Lord.” 

Erin: Wow. Okay, thousands of years later that still preaches, that's the power of God's Word. And Alejandra, I know you treasure God's Word as much as I do. There's so much to love about this story. Like you, I wish I was the one that discovered those fragments of God's Word hidden in a cave. There are so many metaphors here. This really happened, but it's ministering in my heart because this idea of enemies trying to destroy God's Word, but they can't. It can't be destroyed. People trying to bury God's Word, but it cannot be buried; it cannot be silenced. It's such a picture to me of the power of God's Word.

In these days all this time later, the Word of God truly stands forever. But also this week, Holy Week, this is such a picture to me that those precious hope-building words from Zechariah that were hidden in that cave. As we consider the resurrection Jesus, the Word of God in the flesh, He emerged from a cave of sorts victorious having conquered death once.

I don't have any better news to share. That is the good news of the day of the week of my lifetime or forever, that Jesus emerged from that cave victorious 

Alejandra: That is the best good news ever, for sure. 

Erin: They are the best good news ever. I always call this week the best worst week, because when we're gonna get to Good Friday, it's so hard to read what happened, but it's the best news ever.

Well hey, I got a sweet letter this week—an actual letter not an email but an actual letter on paper—from a woman who takes our Grounded good news segment and shares it with her with her church family via email. I love that because don't we all need some good news? So that's just one way somebody is spreading the news about Grounded. We want you to spread the news about Grounded, and we also want to hear your good news. It's been a while since we reminded you, but you can always drop good news stories in the chat. We mine for those like those archaeological archaeologists mined for those treasures. We try to find good news stories, reports. You can head over to ReviveOurHearts.com/Grounded and there's a place there where you can tell us your good news.

Hey Alejandra, Holy Week, are you reading anything special to turn your heart towards Easter? Here's what I’ve discovered. I can get to Easter morning and not have my heart ready to hear the amazing news. So what are you doing to prepare?

Alejandra: It is so busy. There's something that I’ve discovered about two years ago. You have to be very intentional about preparing your heart, preparing your home and even our children to remember the magnificent news that was brought to us this week. So, yeah, I read a couple of books. I keep my head in the Bible for sure and those amazing stories that we have there that are life to us as we read them.

Erin: Yeah, I love that. Well, I’ve been parked in this book, The Characters of Easter by our guest today, Daniel Darling, so welcome to Grounded. As he's coming on I want to read to all of us just a little gold nugget—there's lots of them in here. It's a little bit like an archeological dig to read this book. A little gold nugget from the book that has been sticking with me says this, 

“Easter is the sign that a new world is coming. One day God will take rotted dust particles [which reminds me again of our good news] ravaged by disease and decay and will reconstruct them into real physical bodies fit for eternity. This cycle of pain and sadness, viruses and death, has an expiration date.”

Man, am I looking forward to this conversation! Welcome to Grounded, Daniel.

Daniel Darling: Hey it's great to be with you all. I love the work that you're doing here with Grounded. I just love talking about the hope of Easter. 

Erin: Thank you.Is there anything better to talk about today? Hey, you were writing this book last year during the weirdest Easter ever. I remember watching Easter livestreamed in my pajamas at my house. I want to know . . take us back there, even though I know we're all kind of wanting to move past those memories in some ways. But take us back there. What did God stir in your heart as you're deep diving into the Easter story against that harsh backdrop of so much death in the midst of the pandemic?

Daniel: Easter's always always a big deal because for Christians this is everything. As Paul said, “If Christ didn't walk out of that, then religious people of all people should be pitied.”

Erin: Right

Daniel: We might be doing all this religious stuff, but if he did, it changes everything. I think this last year, it's meant even more. It's been more relevant because we're more aware of our mortality; we're more aware of death; we're more aware of just the divisions in this country, the brokenness in the world. And I think everybody's longing for things to be made, right.

We're waiting for a vaccine or waiting for the pandemic to be over waiting for . . . We're hoping for political solutions. And you know, the Easter story says that if this is true, if Jesus did rise again from the grave, and we believe He did, then there's a new world coming. 

Actually, I love Easter, even just the fact that Easter happens in the spring. It's so bright, and sort of pastel. It's kind of this idea that after a long, hard winter, something new is coming. There's a new creation coming. 

Erin: Yeah, the daffodils are coming up where I live in Missouri, and they're telling the Easter story, aren't they? They're just pushing up through the darkness to show us glory. Well, the resurrection was real. 

I took my kids to an Easter egg hunt this weekend. I don't know where they got their eggs produced, but they all said “He did rise” or something. My husband handed me one. He said, isn't it He is? It was He was risen is what they all said. And my husband was like, shouldn’t it be He is? And I'm like, yes. It was a real event. It really happened. But it really has implications for our lives now. And real people saw it. That's part of the reason why we can look at it with confidence. 

I want to focus on five of those people, the women named as the witnesses. Two I didn't pay attention to until I read your book. But the Bible actually says many women witnessed Christ at the resurrection, but five of them were named. Who are those five women named in Scripture as the witnesses of the resurrection? 

Daniel: Well, there's five of them. There's Mary Magdalene, there's Mary the mother of Jesus, there's another Mary (that could also be Cleopas that some people believe might have been Mary's sister-in-law, perhaps).

Erin: Mary must have been a popular name. 

Daniel: Yes, there's a woman named Joanna who was in Herod’s court. And then there’s Salome, who most scholars believe was James and John's mother, Zebedee’s wife. So these five women were named. But as you said, there were more women who were there, possibly at the tomb and at the foot of the cross.

Erin: Yeah, it's my experience that women run toward grief together. We bring the casseroles, we comfort, and so, I'm not surprised that a group of women came together to the tomb. There's two of them that I'm most fascinated by if I'm being honest. One of them is Mary Magdalene. And there's this tender moment with Jesus outside the tomb. And again, I didn't think about it until I've been reading your book, but hers were the first human vocal cords to say, “He is risen.” And then she went and told the disciples.

So why should Mary Magdalene’s story, specifically, encourage us and give us hope this Easter season? 

Daniel: One of the reasons I wrote this book . . . I like to write about the characters in the Bible because I don't believe there are any coincidences in who God casts in, in this Greatest Story, ever. If you think about it, the first witness to the empty tomb, the first witness that Christ had defeated sin and death in the grave and that a new world that's coming . . . The first evangelist was not Pilate, who was the Roman governor. It was not Herod; it was not the disciples; it was not the religious leaders. 

It was Mary Magdalene, who was a previously tormented woman who had seven demons, who is probably an outcast in our community, who struggled probably with mental illness with all that demon possession. Someone whom Christ had radically changed. She is the first one to tell the world that He has risen. 

What a powerful witness. I think there's a couple of reasons why I think it's significant that women were the first witnesses and the first evangelists. I think, first of all, it follows with the line of Scripture that through a woman sin entered into the world, but also through a woman, the promise entered into the world through Jesus. Mary accepted the assignment to carry Jesus. And then through a woman would be announced the good news of the resurrection.

But secondly, the testimony of women in the first century was not well regarded. It wasn't admissible in a court of law. A lot of scholars have talked about this. And so, it's another proof of the resurrection story, because if this was just the disciples trying to make something up, they would not have put forward women as witnesses. In fact, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, in his apologetic for the resurrection, he doesn't use their testimony because he knows his audience won't receive that. 

But I think it says something about the Kingdom of God that Christianity always elevates the status of women; true Christianity elevates the status of women. Women in the first century were not well regarded. It was unusual that Jesus had female disciples. Rabbis typically did not have female disciples. It would be considered radical, progressive, unusual. And so it all tells us something about who Jesus is, even by the women who were witnesses.

Erin: Yeah, I love that in the book you call it an apologetic for the resurrection. It really is, and choosing Mary Magdalene really is. I mean, she had been what we would probably call crazy, and yet she is this witness that gets to tell the story. I’m also really drawn to Salome. I love Salome because Scripture tells us that she had sons of thunder which you mentioned. I’m a mom of four boys, and they are sons of thunder. So I’m very drawn to her story. She's the woman, she is that mama bear if you know from Scripture. She's that mama bear who asked Jesus, “Hey, can my sons sit at your right and left hand.” She's also a mother who endured heartbreak.

So what happened to her that we see this transformation, and what really encourages you from her specifically?

Daniel: One of the things that's encouraging is when you look at the call of John on his life. Jesus says, “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” He left his nets. We think, Oh that's no big deal; I don't like fishing anyway. 

Erin: Right.

Daniel: Well, that was John's whole way of life. It was his livelihood, it was his father's business, it was a family business. And so, when John accepted the call to leave everything follow Jesus, it was a family call.

Zebedee and Salome could have made a fuss and not let their sons go, especially in those days when families were so tight knit. It was a family call. You see them around Jesus. So they knew that their sons were called into this and they followed them with it, which is such a great witness for parents that God may call our children places and we should support that. 

And then as you said, she is kind of a mama bear. She's fighting for her sons. John is a son of thunder. Now, that was not a term of endearment that Jesus gave him. He was hot headed and impulsive. If we remember, he was a young man when he followed Jesus. He wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans; he wanted to get rid of people who were preaching the gospel but not part of their official tribe.

And then he and James are elbowing their way to be there thinking Jesus is ushering a political kingdom. I’ll be Secretary of State; you'll be Secretary of Defense. I think they enlisted Salome to ask Him. You can even hear that conversation, “Hey Mom, He really likes you. Can you kind of ask?”

Erin: He won’t tell you no, Mama, right?

Daniel: Right. What's interesting about it is that John actually did get to be on Jesus’ right hand in that upper room, but it's a different kind of power, a kingdom where Jesus is washing feet where the last shall be first. And you see at the end of John's life when he's writing the epistles to the church, he's not a son of thunder anymore. He's an apostle of love.

Erin: Yeah.

Daniel: He's talking about the true measure of greatness. That's sort of the journey he went on. But his mother was there for this whole part, and she's there at the foot of the cross.

Erin: Yeah.

Daniel: Her son had followed Jesus into this radical way of life, and she is there every step of the way. Everyone else left Jesus; everyone else abandoned. Salome and these women stayed there. I think it shows us the power of a woman's faith, that when a woman follows Jesus, it is powerful. I think it has world-changing implications.

Erin: And the power of a mama . . . I mean, I got to think that Salome softens too.

Daniel: Yes.

Erin: Because she's at the tomb to minister to Jesus to minister to these other grieving women. A soft mom that has implications in her family, so that's part of why I’m drawn to her. You say in the book the empty tomb is Eden come full circle. What does that mean?

Daniel: Well, it's Eden come full circle in a couple of ways. I mean number one, when it comes to the status of women, if you go back to Eden where Eve is deceived by the serpent and sin and death come into the world.

And then you walk through Mary accepting the call to be the mother of Jesus and then to the empty tomb where the curse has been reversed and God has through Jesus defeated sin and death in the grave and defeated Satan. It's a woman again announcing the good news. This is the story of Jesus; it’s God's plan of redemption from time immemorial. It's come full circle.

And this is why Easter is so important for us. This is why it matters so much, because this is true. We don't have to despair that God has a plan to renew and restore human hearts but also to renew and restore the world.

Erin: Yeah, I love that. Listen, if you don't know what you're reading this week to prepare your heart, maybe read from the first few chapters of Genesis, and then head into the Gospels and see that full circle.

Well, you know what I’m fired up this morning, our team is fired up its Holy Week. We feel ready; we've been thinking about this and preparing. But we also know there's a woman watching this right now or she's gonna listen to it later, and she just feels hopeless. She feels as hollow as that tomb. She's probably going to cook the ham, and she's probably going to hide the eggs, and she's probably gonna put everybody in the new clothes on Sunday morning, but to her it feels like a fairy tale. Not because she doesn't believe it happened but because it just doesn't seem to be touching the parts of her life that feel dark and dead and buried. 

So, for that woman Daniel as you've been deep into Scripture, I wonder what you would say to her about how she could reignite her resurrection hope even now? And then if you would you just pray for anybody listening that's feeling hopeless this Holy Week.

Daniel: I would love to. What I want to say is that to women, especially to moms especially who are tired and weary especially after this year if you've had to homeschool your kids or multiple kids on Zoom or just all the stuff around us and just in the thick of motherhood . . . Your labor is not in vain in the Lord. God is using you even in those moments where it seems like what you're doing is not that significant.

These women were coming to treat the body of Jesus. They didn't think this was that significant of a thing. It was just something they were going to do for their friend to give Him an honest and decent, honorable burial. They didn't know that in that moment they would experience some life-changing thing, that this was history being made

And so, I just want to tell moms that just stay faithful and to stay connected to God. God sees you. He sees your effort .He loves you. There's something powerful about the witness and the courage and the faithfulness of a Christian woman. God uses Christian women to declare His good news around the world, and so I just want to encourage you this Easter.

Erin: Amen.

Daniel: Shall we pray? 

Erin: Let's pray.

Daniel: Dear Lord, we're so thankful and grateful for the good news of Easter. Lord, that You have not left us in our despair. You have not left us in our sin. You have not left a broken world beset by death and division and anger and a creation that's groaning for redemption. But that You have in Jesus reversed the curse of sin. You have reconciled us to the Creator who made us. You have offered us forgiveness. You sent Jesus to die in our place. And because of the resurrection, we know that a new world is coming, a new creation is coming. Things are not always going to be as they are, but they will be as they should be.

Lord, I just pray if there's anybody on this call who is seeking and skeptical and has a lot of questions, that today they might investigate the claims of Jesus. Lord, I pray if there's any discouraged women watching this morning who are just in the thick of family life and motherhood and just all kinds of things going on in their world, that You would give them a fresh dose of encouragement and a fresh dose of hope to know that You are using them and through their lives and their witness you are declaring Yourself to the world.

Lord, I’m thankful for this incredible ministry, and I pray that you give them favor and blessing. In Your name we pray, amen.

Erin: Amen. Thanks for being with us this morning, Daniel, you really have infused a lot of hope into my Easter this week. I’m grateful for you, grateful for this book. We're going to drop the link for your book The Characters of Easter. I love the subtitle The Villains, Heroes, Cowards, and Crooks Who Witnessed History's Biggest Miracle. We're going to drop the link for how to get it for yourself thanks again Daniel.

Dannah: Wow. I have chills Erin. This might be my favorite episode of Grounded ever, because I am so mindful that we are living in a world where so many of the people around me are discouraged, depressed, just pulled down in the undercurrent of the bad news. We are women declaring the good news. The good news this morning. We want you to join us. It's as simple as sharing right now in Facebook or on YouTube what you're watching so that the women you know in your world who are discouraged can experience this good hope, the good hope, the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Open your Bibles to Matthew 28 with me, if you're able. I want to read the testimony of the women at the tomb to you. But before I do, I’ve got to take you back to March 17, at approximately 7:55 p.m. when I, Dannah Gresh, saw a UFO.

Now, there were no little green men with big, black eyes. But as I was driving, I saw an object that to this day remains unidentified—that is what an unidentified flying object is. It was this bright orb that glowed like the sun in the darkening sky at dusk. 

I thought to myself, Is that a planet? But it grew rapidly larger and larger, and it was coming straight towards me. And then suddenly, the orb split into three bright circles. It was soon joined by blue flashing lights on one side and red flashing lights on the other. My pulse quickened, and I broke into a sweat. What else was it going to do? What is this? And here's the weird thing. I kind of hoped that it wouldn't veer off course.

As terrified as I was. I wanted to be a part of this magnificent happening. Right about now you might think, am I still on Grounded? Is this Dannah Gresh? Did she just say she was gonna read Matthew 28? Yes, hold on. Listen to me. As this thing flew above me, I could see that it was a triangular-shaped object. But it was eerily silent. 

Friend, it was the strangest and most mysterious thing I've ever experienced. And the object remains unidentified, though I suspect a B-2 Stealth Spirit Bomber. That's my story. I'm sticking to it. Here's the thing. I've never felt what I felt that evening. It was the most intense fear I've ever known mingled with this strange curiosity. And it was all on steroids. 

As Easter approaches and I think about all the times surrounding Christ's birth, and His resurrection, that the people that were eyewitnesses to those events were told don't fear, do not fear. I wonder is that the mixture of absolute terror combined with inexplicable exhilaration that the women at the tomb felt that day that I felt that night to some degree? Is that what those women felt when they went to tend to the body of Jesus that found out He was not there? 

I'm gonna let you decide. You see, we often overlook just how inexplicable and fearful what those women would have experienced could have been. They didn't just find a quiet, empty tomb with an angel standing stately beside it. They experienced something magnificently fearful. May I read to you the testimony of Mary Magdalene, and quote the other Mary as recorded in Matthew 28, verses 1-8.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” Almost as if he was sure they wouldn’t believe it, “Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 

I gotta read this extra verse here. It says,

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.

Sometimes I think it's good to just let the Scripture do the teaching, and I think I'll let that do it. I think I'll let it do just that today. But I do want to say this, may we be like these women, astounded by what they saw and eager to tell the story.

Father God, make us like these women, I pray Lord. As I sat in my prayer chair this morning, I prayed for every woman who would hear my voice right now and every man. Father, may the reading of this Scripture stir their hearts to believe and to go tell this story. Lord, may it draw us like a magnet to the rest of the story that means we might read it through this Holy Week, devour it, understand it, to the degree that we are able and want to tell others in the name of Jesus. I pray this, amen.

Friend, I really encourage you to gather with other women in your life and read this passage. Meditate on the Scriptures that tell the resurrection story this week. Maybe even especially, gather with the little women in your life, your daughters, your granddaughters. In fact, my team at True Girls created a coloring page to meditate on what the women at the tomb would have seen. It's a great tool to pull out maybe at your Easter dinner, for the women of all ages. Start a conversation about how those first ordinary women at the tomb carry the best news the world has ever heard.

We will drop the link to that coloring page just for you.

Portia: Oh, Dannah, you already know I was sitting over here, like, oh . . .

Dannah: I'm on fire today, Portia. I’m on fire.

Portia: You are, and you are like stirring me up.

Dannah: Yes.

Portia: I am on fire with you.

Dannah: That's the Holy Spirit.

Portia: Yes, this is such good news. Thank you so much for that precious teaching my sweet friend. 

Alright guys, this month is partner appreciation month. In addition to showing our current partners just how much we love and appreciate them, we also have set a goal to recruit 330 new partners. Our ministry partners are vital to Revive Our Hearts and the work that we do, the ways that we serve. In fact, our partners help make Grounded possible, so thank you so much. I want you to check out this video from our very own, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. She's inviting you to link arms with us and become a monthly partner.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: For several months while my sweet husband was going through his battle with cancer, he was getting chemo infusions. That word infusion came to mean a lot more to me during those months as every few weeks we would take him to this infusion center where they would take bags of chemo medicine and different medicines. One bag at a time, they would hook it up to a pole and then into an IV that went into a port in his chest. It's pretty complicated. 

And then he would sit for hours, as one drop at a time that chemo would drip into his system. Over the course of time though, we know those drugs are powerful. What they were doing was attacking the cancer cells in his body. Lord willing, we believe that chemo has done its work. That's what we prayed night after night. Lord, let it do just what it's supposed to do, nothing more nothing less.

And we believe now that Robert is cancer free, as far as we know. But I think about those infusions—drip, drip, drip, drip—that were attacking the cancer cells. Then I think about the women that I know. You know women all around the world who are dealing with cancerous type things in their minds and their hearts in their life experiences—the fear, the anxiety, the struggles with temptation, the wrong ways of thinking that have been shaped by our culture rather than by the gospel. And I think of how the gospel, the Word of God, is an incredible infusion that we need into our heart’s day after day. 

And from the beginning, this is what I dreamed that Revive Our Hearts would be—a daily drip and infusion of grace and hope and biblical thinking and gospel-centered perspectives that would go into the lives of women to counter the rush that the world is sending into their minds and their hearts and their lives. That's what Revive Our Hearts is doing to help women all around the world, it's that daily drip, that daily infusion of God's grace in His Word.

And there was a whole team of infusion nurses and staff there that were part of making this possible for Robert. When I think about Revive Our Hearts’ infusion team, our ministry monthly partners are part of that. 

Month after month, they're giving to help support this ministry, praying, helping invest in making this ministry possible, making the drip, the infusion, possible. I'm so grateful for our monthly partner team and our prayers are that God will add many, many more partners. 

In fact, if you've been blessed by this ministry, if maybe it's been an infusion of grace in your life over the months or years, would you consider becoming one of our monthly partners? Joining the monthly partner family, the infusion team, if you will. We need you. The women that we're serving need you. A woman today who's struggling needs that infusion of grace, and you can be part of making that possible for her. 

I hope that you'll join us by becoming a part of our monthly partner team. You can be involved in helping get that daily drip, that infusion of grace and hope and gospel-centered thinking into the lives of women everywhere. Thanks so much for your part in helping to make this possible.

Alejandra: Certainly, this morning I felt like a river has rushed into my house full of hope. I'm just at the edge of my seat. I've been writing notes on my little booklet here. And it's just amazing how we have gathered to celebrate literally the most important week of the most important person with the most important good news that we could ever hear. And that is Easter. You could celebrate Passion Week, Holy Week, Easter. It is such a beautiful reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus; He is risen. 

Some people might not have the hope of the resurrection. And seriously, I cannot imagine how I could face life without knowing that Jesus conquered death. 

Portia: Amen, amen. Well, is there someone you know who doesn't know Jesus? Or maybe they are new to the faith and are looking for answers? Well, we've gotten a discipleship tool to recommend this morning exclusively from Revive Our Hearts. It's called Glad You Asked: Answers to 10 Essential Questions. 

Alejandra: The cool thing about this book is that this a little booklet, so you can carry it with you, and you can give it very easily. These are discussion questions that we feel starts hope-filled conversations with the people in your world. 

Portia: And Glad You Asked is our gift of any amount offer this month. This is just one small way that we try to say thank you for supporting the Revive Our Hearts ministry. Also, if you sign up this month to be a monthly ministry partner, you'll receive this resource along with much more in our like beautiful custom-curated partner welcome collection. 

I just want to remind you Grounded is only possible because of people who say I'm going to partner with Revive Our Hearts. We are so, so, so thankful for you. We just want to remind you, it's ministry partner month. Go to our website, you can check out everything. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me or somebody.

Dannah: Thanks, guys. Wow, what an episode! I've been praying that when something magnificent and fearful happens, we can't stop talking about it. And when it's a natural occurrence in our life, we don't stop talking about it. Imagine for these women that they knew it was the greatest, fearful, magnificent moment in all of history. May Jesus stir us up like those women. 

I want to take us back to where we started the quote that you shared Portia, “If Christ is risen, nothing else matters.” Not the peanut butter blobs, not the ham, not the Easter egg hunt, and “if Christ is not risen, nothing else matters.”

May we be like those women at the tomb and declare through everything we do this week. The hope of Jesus Christ is the hope the world truly needs. 

Erin: I hope this best worst week ever is especially significant to you this week. I hope it doesn't rush past too quickly. We are going to be right back here next Monday for Grounded, and we're going to have another important conversation. 

Next week we're going to talk about in light of the resurrection, because of the gospel, how do we show the beauty of the Gospel on transgender issues. You're going to hear a powerful story of true transformation next week here on Grounded. I don't want you to miss it. 

And let me be among the first to tell you this week. He is risen. 

Dannah: He is risen indeed, my friend. And because of that we can wake up with hope together next Monday on Grounded.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Support the Grounded Podcast

Darkness. Fear. Uncertainty. Women around the world wake up hopeless every day. What if you could play a part in bringing them freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness instead? Your gift ensures that we can continue to spread the message that Christ is King and that the way to know Him is through His Word. Spread gospel hope! Donate now.

Donate Now

About the Guest

Daniel Darling

Daniel Darling

Daniel Darling is the Senior Vice-President of Communications for the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), and a regular contributor to several leading evangelical publications, including Christianity Today, Homelife, InTouch and others. He has authored six books, including Teen People of the Bible, The Original Jesus, and The Dignity Revolution. Dan is a teaching pastor at Green Hill Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee and lives with his wife and four children in the Nashville area.

About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

Read More
Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on …

Read More
Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries …

Read More
Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, …

Read More