Today was Easter Sunday… it was a long day full of excitement and church and grannies and tea-time and stories… and not a little chocolate. We all know that eggs and chocolate are part of the fun… but there is a whole lot more to Easter than that… we know the truth but how do we help our children remember the truth about Easter. We have all heard the story of Easter so many times, it is hard to see it in a new light everytime.
Today during our Sunday afternoon tea we took a look at the Easter story and focused on one person that stood out. Who was Mary Magdaline, the first person to know that Jesus was risen from the dead. You would think that it would be someone very important, but in true biblical style, she was anything but that. You would think that being the first to find Jesus she would reach new heights of fame and even fortune… but in actual fact we know very little about her, either before the crucifixion or after the resurrection. We were curious to find out, amongst quite a few Mary’s surrounding the life of Jesus what made this Mary different? In fact, why was she the first person that Jesus revealed himself too. What made her so special above all his other disciples and followers?
What do we know about Mary Magdaline?
- She was a Local: From a small coastal town in the region where Jesus lived. She was from the town of Magdala.
- She was Far From Perfect: She was called a sinner, a woman of the city in Luke 7:37 and Jesus had had to cast demons out of her. Luke 8:2.
- She was a Bringer of News: She ran to Simon Peter and told him that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb. She rushed back to the tomb to follow events. John 20:2.
- She was Faithful: She and only a handful of followers remained to the end, beside the cross. Long after other more well known disciples had left Him or denied knowing Him. John 19:25.
- She was Devastated: The death of Jesus had sent her world crashing down. And she stood weeping beside His tomb. John 20:11.
- She was Mistaken: She was so beside herself with weeping that when Jesus spoke to her, she thought he was the gardener. John 20:15.
- She was First: She was the first person to know that Jesus had risen from the dead. As He said: “Mary.” She knew who he was and cried out: “Teacher!” John 20:16.
- She was Caring: Soon after Jesus had appeared to the disciples they went out to surrounding towns proclaiming the good news. The disciples went with Jesus and so did three women, one of whom was Mary of Magdalena, and these women provided for the men. Luke 8:1-3.
And the Se7en + 1th thing…
Once again, our world view – our perception of who should play a leading role in the story of Jesus’ life on earth, is just a little skewed. Especially on that critical day when He rose from the dead and conquered sin. Jesus did not reveal himself to: A leading politician or one of the twelve devoted disciples, not even a frightfully wealthy businessman. Not in fact, anyone really worth mentioning too many times in the Bible at all. Actually, she was just a regular person, like all of us she had a sinful past… but she recognised Jesus as her teacher.
If you read just a little more carefully you will see that she did have something special going for her. She was faithful. She followed Jesus, her saviour from sin and demons. She followed him through the trial, through the crucifixion, to the tomb… she recognised Him for who He was, the saviour of the world. When she discovered that He had risen from the dead… she didn’t say “Amen” and wash her hands of Him. No her faith continued, she followed him after the resurrection and she continued to follow Him as He continued his teaching, traveling from town to town with Him.
The truth of the matter is, that the people that are so important to Jesus are not necessarily the people in high-powered positions. They are regular folk, who are faithful… who would follow Him to the cross and back. And now that we have looked her up, I don’t think we will be forgetting who Mary Magdaline was anytime soon. And I do think that we will remember her special faith, long after all the chocolate has been munched up!!!