Tomorrow I will speak on Mary Magdalene, one of my favorite Biblical characters. She fascinates me, not only because of the fact that she was one of the disciples who lived and worked with Jesus during his earthly ministry, but because she. . . a woman. . . was chosen by God to be the first to witness the risen Christ and the first one to be given the commission to "Go. . . tell" of the Resurrection. The honor of this could not be overstated. A woman, who in her culture of that day, would not have been considered a reliable witness, nor worthy of being heard, is the first one to be sent by Jesus to testify of that He lives. Amazing.
But, what really intrigues me is that she is the most slandered and falsely represented of all of the people in the Bible. She has been called a prostitute; a person filled with the seven deadly sins; a lover of Judas, John and Jesus; the bearer of Jesus' children; and so much more. Her reputation has been destroyed in sermons, books, art and film. Her relationship with Jesus made into a "holy pornography". She has also been accused of having a contentious relationship with the disciples. WHY? Why distort the truth of the Scriptures concerning this one person?
I believe this has been a concerted, intentional attack of Satan to destroy the truth of the Resurrection by discounting the messenger. The Enemy could not thwart God's plan of redemption, but he continues to weaken and damage the message by corrupting the reputation of the messenger. It's time that we declare "No!" to this demonic attack!
There are some clear ways that Mary Magdalene teaches or challenges me in my walk with God. She exhibited total surrender to the Lord and His service. She gave up her home and comfort and of her funds to enable the work of the Savior. Mary Magdalene showed extreme courage by staying by the cross during the entire crucifixion. She also exemplified strength and courage in staying by the tomb and then returning while it was still dark. She didn't deny Christ or run away under the threat that was inherent in being identified with Christ. She confronted the male disciples in their unbelief that Jesus still lived.
So, I must ask myself these questions: Do I have such sacrificial love of my Lord? Am I willing to give up everything for His service? Do I exhibit courage in my testimony in the face of unbelief or possible persecution? What am I holding onto and won't give up for the sake of the Kingdom? Am I willing to live out my new life offered by our Savior--or am I stuck in my old habits and sinful responses?
Now, during this Easter season, I want the example of Mary Magdalene to be used of God to be mine. She is the example of one who was freed from Satan's bondage and lived in the freedom of the reality of Resurrection. That's my desire, May it be yours, as well.