MARY MAGDALENE – A NEW BEGINNING FOR US ALL
EASTER DAY 2021
MARY MAGDALENE – A PERSON JUST LIKE US
What do we know about this woman who played such a prominent part in the Resurrection Story?
She is mentioned more times in the Gospels than many of the Apostles (12 times by name) – but we know the bare minimum of facts about her:
- We know that Jesus cast 7 demons out of her (Mark 16: 9; Luke 8: 1-2). The number 7 is seen to be that of completeness. So, it is said that having 7 demons within her was the sign of being completely under the control of the devil. Let us be honest with ourselves. When we do not know Christ we are under the control or influence of the devil. But, just as with Mary, when we come to Him and put our trust in Him then He will completely free us from that control of the evil one.
- We know that she was from the fishing town of Magdala on the Sea of Galilee.
- Also that she was possibly a woman of wealth – which explains how she is called one of those women who followed Jesus and cared for His needs (Luke 8: 1-3).
- We know that, unlike many of the disciples, she did not desert Jesus after His arrest but was present at His crucifixion (Matthew 27: 55-56; Mark 15: 40), saw where He was buried (Mark 15: 47), and came very early on Easter Sunday with 2 other women with spices to anoint His body (Mark 16: 1).
- We know that she was the one who ran to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen (John 20: 2); and we know that she met with the risen Christ at His tomb (John 20: 11-18).
What we know about Mary is that she was a person just like us. She was not a crazy woman under the control of the devil. Neither was she a perfect human being. She, like us, had been freed from her old life and now took the opportunity of making a New Beginning.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NEW BEGINNING OF MARY MAGDALENE?
- TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
She KNEW that her life had been a real mess. She knew that the devil had been in total control of her life. She knew that without Jesus in her life she had no hope for the future. And so she lived now with an attitude of gratitude. She followed Jesus wherever she went and cared for Him – giving Him all that she had.
How about you? How about me?
- THAT YOUR PAST NO LONGER MATTERS
She did not dwell on her past – it was just that…PAST. There was no suggestion of “you have done such things that you just can’t be forgiven” – NO! Rather there was a certainty that no matter HOW BAD her past had been that she WAS forgiven. All that she had been and all that she had done were no longer of any relevance. She was a new creation. She had been given a New Beginning. And she knew it.
How about you? How about me?
- DON’T LET PROBLEMS KEEP YOU DOWN
Let’s be honest. Most of Jesus’ closest disciples had run away when He was arrested, denied knowing Him when they were challenged, and now were hiding away in an upper room in fear of arrest. But not Mary Magdalene. Yes, she was devastated. Her Lord was dead (or so she thought…). But she was not going to be put down by the problems. She was up and out to the tomb with spices to anoint His body with – even though she was expecting guards to challenge her. She put her TRUST in God before the TROUBLES that beset her.
What about you? What about me?
- JESUS KNOWS YOU BY NAME
This one is so wonderful! When she spoke to Jesus at the garden tomb not recognising Him for who He was, He simply called her by name – “Mary”. He knew her. She was special to Him. And He calls you by name too – because YOU are special to Him.
- KNOW WHO YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Outside the tomb Jesus asked her “Who is it you are looking for?” Mary was always looking for Jesus. He was the most important person to her. He was her life.
What about you? What about me? Who are WE looking for all of our lives?
- TELL EVERYONE THE GOOD NEWS
And Jesus told Mary to not hold on to Him but to “go instead to my brothers…” And she went – to tell them that He was risen, that she had seen Him and that He was going to be in Heaven waiting from them. The call is for us, full of the joy of knowing that Jesus is risen, to go and tell everyone this Good News.
What about you? What about me? Are we going to do that?
CONCLUSION: A NEW BEGINNING FOR HER AND A NEW BEGINNING FOR ME
Jesus not only freed her, but He died for her – her sins being taken from her by Him on the Cross, and she being, therefore, reconciled to God.
Jesus not only died for her but rose again to bring her the promise of everlasting life in Paradise.
Why did He reveal Himself to her first? She was a woman – Jesus was showing that in Him all are equal. Also, she had been such a sinner – and Jesus was showing that the worst of sinners is so special to Him.
Jesus was showing us, through the story of Mary Magdalene, that we are so special to Him and that, just as with her, we have the opportunity for a New Beginning. Let us grasp this!