Baptism Weekend Devotional Day 1
DAY 1 – Monday
John 20:11-18; Mark 16
What do we know about Mary Magdalene and what can we learn from her?
Mary Magdalene. There is so much conjecture surrounding her in popular culture. The movie The Da Vinci Code alleges that she and Jesus were married. In the movie The Passion of the Christ she was associated with the woman caught in the act of adultery and awaiting stoning. She has also been associated with the “woman in the city who was a sinner” who might have washed Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:37.
Today we’ll hone in on what the Bible actually says about her; let’s get our facts straight! She was a woman who had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus (Luke 8:2). She witnessed most of the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion. She was present at the mock trial of Jesus; she heard Pontius Pilate pronounce the death sentence, and she saw Jesus beaten and humiliated by the crowd. She was one of the women who stood near Jesus trying to comfort him as he was being crucified. She was the earliest witness to the resurrection of Jesus and was sent by Jesus to tell the others of the news. We can’t know why she was a first responder to so many events at the end of Jesus’ life, but we can know she knew who Jesus was, and she knew who she was in him. She was brave, and her faith was ignited the moment she met Jesus and he healed her. The most striking role Mary played in Jesus’ life was to simply be there. She was present.
Have you ever thought about your role in someone’s life as simply being present? Recently we had to put our cat to sleep. As the date loomed, I had quite a few clients ask me if we would be present when he was put down. They asked if my kids would be there, because “Surely you aren’t going to have your children present” …and so on. I simply said we would all be there. The day arrived and the tension in the room was palpable. My kids openly sobbed, and John and I stuffed our sorrow in silent tears. We loved our kitty and we were simply there with him until he died. This wasn’t Jesus, of course, but I can relate to the fact that there is something very uncomfortable about being present in a moment of death.
Thinking about Jesus on the day he died, and how it must have felt to not hold anything back, to let the tears flow, to show the deep gratitude for all that he did on our behalf—no words give it justice. Mary was brave and she was present. Can you risk being uncomfortable and simply be present in someone’s life when you would rather run for it?