Mary Magdalene

 

She is often listed first among the women who were with Jesus.  She was the first to see Jesus alive on that first Easter morning.  She came to Jesus’ tomb while it was still dark and saw the stone rolled away from the tomb.  In some panic, she ran back to inform Peter and John that someone had vandalized the tomb and taken Jesus’ body.  She returned to the grave with Peter and John and after they left she remained behind.  She went back for another look and saw two angels, whom she questioned as to Jesus whereabouts.  They had asked why she was weeping.  Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but like the disciples on the way to Emmaus later in the day, she didn’t recognize him.

Jesus asked her, as he had asked those who came to arrest him only days earlier, “Whom are you seeking?”  At his arrest, when Jesus “I am He,” the henchmen fell to the ground.  On Sunday morning Jesus simply said, “Mary.”  She also fell to the ground, because Jesus told her not to cling to him.  At Jesus word, she became the first evangelist of the resurrection.  She went and announced to the disciples she had seen the Lord.

Traditionally, Mary is associated with the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’s feet in the Pharisees home.  There is no biblical basis for her being identified as a prostitute.  Nor was she Mary, Marth’s sister.  Bernard of Clairvaux, with good reason called her, “the apostle to the apostles.’

LSB hymn 855,

We sing Your praise for Mary,

Who came at Easter dawn

To look for Jesus’ body

And found her Lord was gone.

But, as with joy she saw Him

In resurrection Light,

May we by faith behold Him,

The Day who ends our night!

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