"But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb." John 20:1
She lived in a town that was located near the shores of the Sea of Galilee, known for important agriculture, fishing, and trade. She suffered from demon possession, keeping her alone and isolated from the outside world. Her name was Mary Magdalene.
Mary met Jesus face to face and through that encounter her life was changed; heart, body, mind and soul. Jesus sought her out so that He could heal her, and in so doing, cast out seven evil demonic spirits that had ruled and ruined her life.
"Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons." (Mark 16:9)
The gospel writers describe demon possession in their own words. Matthew's examples were that of speechlessness (Matt. 16:9), violence (Matt. 8:28), blindness (Matt. 12:22). Mark's were that of convulsions (Mark 1:26) and Luke's were foaming at the mouth (Luke 9:39). Mary's demonic possession may have been physical, mental, or spiritual, there are no real facts on her condition of this illness.
One thing that is true in God's Word is her testimony after her healing experience. Mary became a devoted follower of Christ. Strong in her faithfulness and counted among the small group of women who served Jesus and His disciples as they preached and ministered to the masses.
Mary became an important leader among the ministering women. She proved to be a passionate follower who gave of her time, energy and wealth to the Lord's work. She was counted on as being a faithful follower of Christ, passionate in her pursuit of Him and spreading the Good News to all the people.
Even when almost everyone fled in fear after Jesus' arrest, Mary, lovingly followed Him all the way to the Cross and witnessed His painful death. When all others had given up hope and went back to their lives as before she remained devoted to Christ, and on that early morning after the Sabbath had ended, she crept through the darkness to the tomb carrying the customary spices to prepare the Lord's body for burial.
Mary was rewarded for her devotion to Him by getting to be the first one to arrive at the tomb and find it empty. After being distraught of all she had witnessed the day before she was in horror, immediately thinking someone had stolen His body (not unheard of in those days). Once again she came face to face with Jesus, but this time as the risen Lord.
In His incredible grace, God chose a faithful woman, Mary of Magdala, to proclaim to the disciples and to the world the glorious life-changing news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine her excitement? She ran to the disciples to tell them the news, 'I have seen the Lord!' only to be met with questions and unbelief.
"She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe." (Mark 16:9-11)
Mary Magdalene's devoted faithfulness to Jesus and her announcement of Christ's victory over death shouts to all of us how an encounter with Christ changes a life forever. Let her be an example to us of how we should follow after Him who set us free and be His faithful witness. For we are free indeed! Hallelujah!
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for placing the women in the Bible to show us how deeply You care for all of Your people. May we follow You as Mary did and faithfully devote our everyday to You. Thank You for sending Christ so that we can live in the free pardon of sin. Amen.