Luke introduces "Mary who was called Magdalene." She was from the area called Magdala and had been delivered from seven demons. But most importantly, she was a devoted follower of Jesus.
This Mary is known for her devotion and love for Jesus. Her reputation has suffered greatly because of "mistaken identity." Nothing has done more damage to her name than modern-day media. From "The Last Temptation of Christ" to "The Da Vinci Code," they have portrayed her from being a true worshiper of Jesus to be His alleged lover and, following traditions, presented her as a prostitute. It is important to know that there is no Biblical evidence to support such a charge. Mary Magdalene was a true believer-and privileged beyond many others.
Already stating His awareness of Mary's love for Him, Jesus infers inLuke 7:47, "One forgiven much loves much." So, it is normal that she would not be separated from the One who has rescued her from demonic control. Even to the end, she was faithful when the disciples, except for John, had abandoned Him.
John 19:25 tells us that Mary, Jesus' Mother, Mary Magdalene had felt compelled to stay with Jesus while He was on the cross. His mother was heartbroken, as were the other women who stayed. The women were watching. Suffering. Wondering. Weeping. Nothing could describe their sadness at the moment Jesus breathed His last breath from the cross of love, yielding His spirit to the Father. Mark 15:47 tells us that because Mary Magdalene and Mary, Jesus' mother, didn't know where Nicodemus and Joseph would lay Jesus' body, they followed the men to the tomb.
John 20:1 says that Mary Magdalene is the first to the tomb - the most significant "first" in human history! She will be the first to see the risen Savior. She came brokenhearted, but with a devotion that surpassed the apparent certainty of death. It is important to see that Mary had not come believing; she came hurting. Finding the tomb empty, she ran back to tell Peter and John. She returned with them, and the men left in shock. But Mary stayed. As she mourned, she encountered the risen Lord!
John 20:11-16 shows it is highly significant that the risen Jesus first appeared to a woman. In the 1st century Israel, women were viewed as being of little value-but not to Jesus! At first, she was aware of the two angels thinking they might know where Jesus' body was taken. But there is more. When she turned away from them, there, in front of her, stood Jesus. Blinded by her tears, she assumed Him to be the caretaker and asked Him if He knew where Jesus' body had been taken. He then says her name: "Mary" and as she beheld Him, she turned from death to life, from grief to joy, from despair to belief.
If you were in Mary's place, how do you think you would have reacted? How do you think you will react when you stand before Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Heavenly Host? There is coming such a day, so be ready.
Dear Father, I am so thankful that Mary's story is included in the Bible. Just think! Jesus remembered Mary's name. That makes me believe that He knows my name. I have talked with him hundreds of times, and I look forward to the time I will be able to talk to Him face to face. Hallelujah! I long for that time. Amen!