After I went through the resurrection of Jesus, I couldn’t get past the repetition of seeing this same woman near Jesus at the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. When I say repetition, I mean she was in all four gospels. So, I decided I needed to meet her and find out what made her heart tick.
This is the little bit of background on who Mary Magdalene was. “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons.” Mark 16:9 To have seven demons is to be described as quite possessed of body and mind! Most commentators agree that this is an indication of the severity of her problem. Some say the demons were illnesses of the mind and/or body. So to be delivered from seven different illnesses at once or seven different occasions demonstrates Jesus’ care and authority.
Being delivered from pain, bitterness, addiction, anger, unforgiveness…just fill in the blank of a great physical or mental need…is a miracle of healing. Now, imagine all seven of them all together or at different times. Overwhelming and wearying is my feeling of this type of life. Being delivered from her demons was new life to Mary Magdalene!
This is a Mary Magdalene heart! The heart that is so grateful and needy toward her Deliverer that she stays so close to the foot of the cross because that is where the Giver of her life was. Jesus was her Deliverer. Mary Magdalene believed the only reason she was alive and well was because of the healing touch of her Deliverer. The Jewish authorities would have been completely aware of her presence throughout the crucifixion. Yet, she showed no fear. Only focus. She had more courage than the disciples, for she stayed and was identified as one of the women with Jesus. When I read the account of the resurrection, Mary Magdalene is there. John records that she was the one Jesus revealed Himself to first!
I have a new friend named Mary Magdalene. I too have had the healing touch on a sin-possessed heart. I too am alive with abundant life. Mary Magdalene models for me a closeness to the Deliverer that fear, distraction, or casual commitment could not interfere with. She had a healed and healthy heart that clung to the truth Jesus spoke. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live…” (John 11:25).
Many believe Mary Magdalene became, after the resurrection, one of the strong pillars in the church. Can you imagine being mentored/discipled by her? Or having her as a Sunday School Teacher or Bible Study Leader?
The good news is I have the same opportunity to ignite love for Jesus as Mary Magdalene lived out in her life. I have what she had - deliverance from darkness and no hope into light and hope!
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” John 20:18