Mary Magdalene Encounters Jesus: Love Springboards us into Life

“Love keeps her in the splash zone of redemption,” Pastor Bill spoke of Mary Magdalene on Sunday.


Pastor Bill took us back to the day Jesus was crucified on the cross. When Jesus was suffering in his last hours, Mary Magdalene was the last one standing with him, fully heartbroken as she witnessed what Pastor Bill deemed, “her future bleeding out.”


Mary sees Jesus at his worst suffering on the cross, just as he had once seen her at her worst. In Mary’s first encounter with Jesus, he had delivered her from 7 demons (Luke 5). Because of Jesus, Mary was no longer a captive of the enemy, but instead, free in the name of Jesus, restored fully to God’s original blueprint for her life.


This encounter altered Mary’s entire trajectory. She left her home and business and walked with Jesus as his lead female disciple, supporting him financially, and dedicating herself fully.


After Jesus is crucified, Mary follows Jesus to the tomb on Sunday and is the first to realize that he isn’t there. The stone has been moved from the entrance.  


John 20:  Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”


As Mary stood outside the empty tomb weeping, she sees two Angels where Jesus’s body had been, one at the head, one at the foot.


John 20:  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

 Pastor Bill pointed out that Mary does not just hear her name. She “hears herself being raised from the dead.” Mary is the last one to hear the echoes of Jesus’s suffering at the cross and the first one to hear the world’s most original sound; redemption.


“Nothing is like your name on Jesus’s lips,” Pastor Bill said. When Mary hears her name, she knows herself again. Her identity is restored. When our world crumbles, we can go to Jesus to know the essence of ourselves.  


When Mary’s faith was crucified on the cross Friday night, it was her love for Jesus that brought her to the tomb Sunday morning. It was love that kept her showing up. There are seasons in life where faith will not get us to where we need to be. We will stand at the empty tomb of our experience, confused and in pain.

But if we can not run away from the hurt and heartbreak and instead- stay at the “scene of wonder” as Pastor Bill called it, love can springboard us into life changing revelation.

 1 Corinthians:  Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

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