She was the last person on earth you might expect to get a ticket to the greatest world premiere ever! And yet, she found herself FIRST in the queue.
And her story offers hope to all of us – because it turns out we can also benefit from this amazing offer.
“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”
She probably wouldn’t be our first choice for front row seats at the Resurrection of Jesus – would she? She’s the sort of person we would have crossed the street to avoid, or prayed she didn’t sit next to us on the bus home. Some crazy person. Trapped in a hopeless world – a prisoner of evil forces. Definitely not “A grade” eye-witness material.
But that’s just it – Jesus doesn’t judge people by our pathetically shallow standards. First of all, he RESCUES her – which of course includes forgiveness and restoration to God. Second – he TRANSFORMS her – just see how her life was turned around after this event…
(a) She loved Jesus in his life – she was one of a small group of disciples who travelled with Jesus, sacrificing her own money as well, to finance Jesus’ travelling ministry. Why? Because Jesus had rescued her.
(b) She loved Jesus at his death – she was one of a small group of disciples who were brave enough to stand with him at the cross. When everyone was hating Jesus and his followers, Mary had courage to face the hate and stand up with Jesus. Why? Because Jesus had not given up on her.
(c) She loved Jesus in his resurrection life – she was the first person to go to the tomb. She didn’t yet know he was alive – she was going to wrap the body in linen and spices. One final act of kindness to the body of her Saviour, her Lord, her friend. But in the end, Jesus speaks her name, “Mary!” And she knows – Jesus is alive! Mary becomes the “Apostle to the Apostles,” as she goes off to tell them, “He’s alive!”
WHY DID SHE GET THIS PRIVILEGE? What was it about her that gave her first place in the queue to see Jesus?
The answer is NOT found in Mary. It’s found in the kindness of Jesus. Mary is no different to any one of us – she was trapped in sin and despair and so are we. She was helpless to escape the prison of her own life – so are we. Without Jesus healing and forgiveness, Mary would’ve been lost – same for us.
But Jesus shows kindness again and again to Mary – and so with us.
Do you want HOPE? In the face of Covid? Cancer? Career falling apart?
Do you want a FUTURE? What are you LOOKING FORWARD to?
Only the Risen Christ offers a hope and a future. And he offers it to all of us – whoever we are. He can transform our lives. He can transform yours.
Do you want tickets for the final WORLD PREMIERE? When Jesus returns, he will judge the living and the dead. He will restore all that’s pure and good. He will remove all contradicts him. He will bring all his people into his amazing new world.
You can be there. All you have to do is ask Jesus to let you in. Why not do it this Easter? Find a quiet spot and talk to Jesus in prayer. Don’t worry about getting the words right. Just be honest with him. Admit your sin. Admit that you don’t deserve his kindness. Trust in his death on the cross for sinners to save you. Ask him to forgive you.
If you do – you can have tickets to the great world premiere – when he returns.