“Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from who He had cast out seven demons.” Mark 16:9
I love this verse. It’s one of my favorites. Why? I’m glad you asked. First of all, reading anything that reminds me that the Savior of the world loved you and I so much so that He hung lifeless on a rugged cross after being brutally murdered but then rose to life again so that we may be saved eternally in spite of our sinfulness, just sets me on fire. Go ahead, take a Hallelujah break too. Easter’s around the corner anyway, there’s no better time like the present to reflect and be thankful.
Secondly, I love that fresh from the dead, from what seemed like the finale, that a woman was the first person Christ chose to reveal His resurrection to. And she wasn’t just any woman. She was a woman who knew and understood what trust in the Savior of the world meant. She was a woman who was committed, devoted, and never took for granted her miraculous healing. Her faith was uncomplicated.
You see, Mary Magdalene had not always been a devout follower of Christ. Actually, this verse explains that too. Seven demons. Did you get that? Let me say it again just in case. Seven demons. She had at one time in her life been possessed with seven demons. And do you realize what the number seven in the bible represents? Completion. So we’re not talking about a headache here and there or a bad day or some bad choices. Her demonic possession meant that she was completely dominated by evil spirits and suffered greatly.
Now, you may be thinking that you aren’t demon possessed but I can guarantee that we are all in need of a Savior. Of healing. A miracle. So just hang on.
You know, the bible doesn’t explain to us what the seven demons looked like for Mary and maybe for good reason. Maybe we aren’t suppose to know so that you and I can fill in the blanks with our own troubles, our own demons. Our afflictions. Our own addictions and bondage. Our past, our sin, our choices. Our sickness and pain. Maybe we don’t know so that we can see that we too can be liberated? That we can be miraculously freed by Jesus just like Mary.
Mary Magdalene had no doubt that Jesus was the Savior of her life and so, she thankfully dedicated her life to follow and love and appreciate her miracle.
I know some of you may be thinking that you are just fine and none of this applies to you because you aren’t demon possessed and life is good. Or maybe you are thinking there’s no way that Jesus could fix your mess or change your life for the better. Let me assure you all, Jesus wasn’t only Mary Magdalene’s healer, but He’s ours too. In fact, He is the Ultimate Healer. He has the power and the love to wash us clean of sin and heal us from our iniquities. And there’s absolutely no situation, no sickness, no past, no sin untouchable that Christ can’t heal you from. Nothing. There is freedom in Christ. Oh God, help us believe and cling to the hope found in You. God help us not become so haughty that we think we aren’t in need of a Savior.
You see, many days I collapse in the battle of spiritual warfare and agree that I am too unclean. Too far gone. Too impossible to deal with. That I’m not worthy enough to embrace and share the good news of Christ. That miracles aren’t for me. That I’m too dirty. Life’s struggles and pain and the past complicate my faith and can even make me forget the most important miracle of all, salvation.
It’s all lies friends. God help us remember to fight the enemies’ lies so that we may boldly sit at the foot of the cross and soak up His love and healing, just as Mary Magdalene did. Help us be strong in our faith to follow you even when it’s hard and to trust and obey you even when it seems impossible. Just as Mary did. Help us never forget the miracles.
She had a choice and so do we. Mary could have taken the miraculous touch of Christ and selfishly ran the other direction to live as she pleased but she didn’t. She could have buckled under fear when the men of her time felt she had no place in ministry or when she watched her Savior take his last breath or even when she headed to the tomb guarded by Roman soldiers and a huge rock to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices, but she didn’t. And her reward? Christ appeared to her first. He gifted her the opportunity to share the news of His resurrection first.
Her faith was genuine. Her life completely surrendered. Her devotion was passionate. Her belief was unchangeable. She never forgot. Her faith was uncomplicated.
My prayer for us all is to recognize that we have a Savior who still performs miracles and saves lives. That we have a Savior who is so in love with us that even at our darkest, He still pursues us. That Jesus will reward our uncomplicated faith and that He wants to reveal Himself to us just as He did Mary. That He longs for us to chase after Him until the end of our lives as we know it.
What a good verse, don’t you think? I don’t know about you but I’m sick of looking back when all Christ wants is for me to keep pressing forward. That when I look back at my own iniquities, guilt and shame are not my go to but instead, the reminder I need of the miracle God has done in me and for me. I want to be like Mary. I want my faith to be uncomplicated so that my focus can remain on what is most important, Jesus Christ.
And so, I start here. To remind me and to help you look into your own lives. God is a God of miracles. Salvation provides ultimate Healing and if you don’t know my Savior, you’ve got too. Lest I forget…
Now it’s your turn. Ask for a miracle. Never forget your Healer. Devote your life. Uncomplicated faith. It’s the only way.