By: Scott Adkins, Sling ‘n Stone Ministry
Carter County Times
Easter approaches. Let’s talk about Easter’s first morning when, as Jesus promised (Mark 9:31), He got up ‘n walked out of that grave, forever alive again. (Revelation 1:18) (“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore.”). Five hundred saw Jesus after His Resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:6). We focus on history’s first eyewitness. Some label Mary Magdalene a prostitute. But the Bible doesn’t. Rather, the Bible distinguishes Mary as first to see God’s Resurrected Son. (John 20:14-16). But why did this hallowed distinction land on Mary Magdalene, and what does that teach us?
Mary Magdalene—Faithful Beyond Death
Jesus rescued Mary from deep depravity when He cast seven demons out of her. (Luke 8:2). Like the woman at Nane, who loved Jesus much because He forgave her many sins, (Luke 7:47), Mary too realized how deep her own depravity was when Jesus rescued her. And she loved Jesus for that. But Mary didn’t just stand around the synagogue singing, “Oh, how I love Jesus.” Oh no. Mary’s actions did the singing. That is—she acted faithfully and courageously for Jesus, no matter what. And Mary did so even before seeing God’s Resurrected Son that first Easter morning!
Most ran away, or denied they ever knew Jesus. (Matthew 26:56, 72). But not Mary Magdalene. No way. She, and three others, faithfully and courageously trudged up Golgotha, where Roman soldiers crucified Jesus. Mary, and those three others, then stood and watched Jesus suffer and die. (John 19:25-26). But even that horrifying spectacle could never diminish Mary’s love, faithfulness, and courage for the Lord Jesus.
After Jesus was entombed, all others eventually gave up and went home. (John 20:10).
But not Mary. Seeing Jesus’s body gone, Mary remained outside the empty tomb and wept. (John 20:11). Then, Jesus showed up . . . disguised as the gardener. Still weeping, Mary told the disguised gardener if he’d taken her Lord’s body elsewhere, she would go get it. (John 20:15). Mary stood there all alone, yet still faithful to the Lord because she loved Him.
Then, Jesus said, “Mary.” Only then did Mary realize “the gardener” was the Lord Jesus, Who’d kept His promise to rise again. (John 20:16). But even before Jesus presented Himself to the Father, Jesus honored Mary’s faithfulness and courage by making Mary history’s first eyewitness to His Resurrection, and then by making her Easter’s first messenger to those who’d given up. (John 20:17). That’s incredible! That’s Jesus—incredible in all His ways so He might rescue us from sin.
Easter’s lessons? First, Jesus kept His promise: He got up ‘n walked out of that grave, alive again forevermore. Second, genuine love for the Savior proves itself via unconditional and unflinching faithfulness and courage for Him via actions, not words. Third, when we so love the Savior, He and the Father love us and come live inside us. (John 14:23). That’s what Easter teaches us.
NEXT WEEK: SCIENCE PROVES HIS RESURRECTION.
/s/Sling ‘n Stone Ministries.