IN THE RESURRECTION MARY MAGDALENE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SEE JESUS
Jesus was born of a woman, and in the resurrection it was a woman who Jesus first showed himself too. This woman was one who loved Jesus very much. Her name was Mary Magdalene. We see Jesus humility in his resurrection, as well as in his crucifixion. Jesus did not rise and then march into the Temple to confront the religious leaders or Caiaphas; he did not dash to the Praetorium to say to Pilate, “I told you so!”; he did not go stand in the center of Jerusalem to impress the crowd. Instead, Jesus revealed himself only to believers. The first person to see him was a woman who had been healed and forgiven and who tearfully stayed at the cross and followed his body to the tomb. As Jesus demonstrated throughout his life, he responded to those who waited attentively and faithfully. Jesus dissolved the perplexities of the disciples. He dried their tears. He dispelled their doubts. Jesus knows how similar we are to his original disciples, and he does not overpower us either. Even though our faithfulness wavers, Jesus faithfully stays with us.
How did Mary become the first person to see Jesus? Mary apparently followed Peter and John back to the tomb. When the two disciples left, she was there alone, still crying, still hoping that somehow she could discover where Jesus’ body had been taken, but fearing the worst. Then she saw two white-robed angels. The angels actually looked like humans-not beings with halos and wings. The angels had appeared to the women and then sent them to spread the good news that Jesus was alive, but apparently they were not in the tomb when Peter and John arrived. Yet they are here again to speak to Mary.
They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?” Under normal circumstances this would seem to be an odd question. People might be expected to be crying beside the tomb of a loved one. However, the angels knew why the tomb was empty. They also knew that if these people had listened to Jesus words about his resurrection while he was alive, they would not be sad and confused; instead, they would be leaping for joy. So the angels question was not odd, but obvious. It was not meant as a rebuke, but as a reminder of heaven’s perspective. Mary simply answered the angels question with her fears, “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
Jesus said, “Mary.” Suddenly, to her amazement, she stood face to face with her living Lord. Jesus spoke her name, and immediately she recognized him. Imagine the love that flooded Mary’s heart when she heard her Savior saying her name!
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!” Mary’s immediate response was to touch Jesus and cling to him. But Jesus stopped her.
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her. “John 20:11-18 The Message (MSG)
Jesus sent Mary Magdalene to them with the first post-resurrection testimony. Though it may be that Mary was formerly a woman of ill-repute, this did not keep Jesus from commissioning her to bring the gospel message to the apostles. Mary was well qualified to be the messenger that Jesus chose to do the work of the Kingdom. Today, women are in leading roles that have been chosen for them by our resurrected Lord. It is time that all of us recognize their roles and let the work that Mary Magdalene was doing be an example of how the women of the world have been called by Jesus.
We have ministered this EASTER MESSAGE to you today from the THRONE of GRACE. I leave you with My Hope that you have had the opportunity to experience the abundance of Jesus love, strength and patience that He shared with all of us this EASTER WEEKEND. In JESUS CHRIST, I remain your brother PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER!
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- Easter Vigil (March 30): “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?” (shechina.wordpress.com)