“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.  And she went and told them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.”

Mark 16:9-10

     How wonderful to know His Love reaches from the highest heights to the lowest depths.

     How did it affect you this morning as you read the words in our Manna about Jesus “appearing FIRST to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons”?  
     Although we know not the nature or reason of her demonic possession, we do know this one—who hailed from the city of Magdala on the southwestern coast of the Sea of Galilee—was very possibly a woman of ill repute, for that city was notorious for prostitution.  And, although there’s no Scriptural basis for it, it’s also possible that she was the one who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and then anointed them with costly perfume (Lk. 7:37-38).
     Regardless, it is noteworthy that the Risen Lord’s first appearance was to this one who’d been delivered from deep darkness into the Light.  And, what better person for the Savior to make His initial appearance to than this one who likely felt like she’d been “the chiefest of sinners”?  Glory!!
     We do know she was one of the women who ministered to Jesus “of her substance” (Lk. 8:2-3).  Likewise, she was present at most of the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion, including His mock trial. . .Pilate’s pronouncement of death. . .Jesus’ beating by the soldiers and humiliation by the crowd. . .and was one of the women who stood nearby as He died on the Cross.
     Thus, we should not be surprised that Jesus would choose her as His first witness on that first Easter morning.

     He always knows those who love Him deeply.  And, it is to those, like Simeon, that He imparts His intimacy and secret mysteries (Lk. 2:25-35)—for He knows their deep love will spring forth into passionate service.
     The Apostle Paul, who’d received his theological training at the feet of Gamaliel, the most renowned teacher of his day. . .earned Ph.D in Pharisaism. . .prided himself on “persecuting the Church of God” (Gal. 1:13), etc., would later describe himself as “the chiefest of sinners” (I Tim. 1:15).  He realized he was nothing apart from God’s Grace and Mercy; that’s why his Life’s Verse was “That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His Death” (Phil. 3:10).
     May the Holy Spirit help us to also always remember that we are nothing and can do nothing without Him (Jn. 15:5).  May we also remember the only way we’re able to enter into the Heavenly Holy of Holies is by Jesus’ Blood (Heb. 10:19).  And, in remembering, let us continually offer unto Him “the sacrifice of praise coupled with thanksgiving” (Heb. 13:15) because of Who He is, what He’s done and how He transforms us by His Grace.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated April 4, 2010

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