Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson
The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs
What better way to prepare to celebrate Easter than to look at the “three Marys”—Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene—who witnessed both Jesus’ passion and His resurrection? In The Women of Easter author Liz Curtis Higgs brings her in-depth research and appealing voice to help us see these women and the events leading up to the resurrection with new eyes.
Higgs begins before the final week, gleaning mentions of each woman from the Gospel accounts. This focus brings each woman to life, engaging us in the story with her. Despite fear and uncertainty, each Mary changed because of her relationship with Jesus, and we celebrate their courage and faith through the process.
Higgs does a remarkable job of staying inside the story so we get a glimpse of the pain Jesus’ followers felt before the resurrection. Often we leap ahead to the ending without remembering the real people who struggled through their human doubts and fears before experiencing the final victory. Transformation is at the heart of Easter. The end of their story offers hope for our own uncertainties. Transformation is for us, too.
If you use the Lenten season before Easter to prepare for the Easter celebration, you won’t find a better option than The Women of Easter. You can use the included study guide for yourself or a group. As Liz herself says, “That’s what Lent is all about. A time of renewal. A season of grace.”