Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lent 2014: Mary Magdalene

Mark 16:9-11
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How frustrating it must have been for Mary when the disciples didn't believe her! She is bringing good news, great news, incredibly amazing news, impossible-to-believe news. Just like Thomas is famous for (Jn 20:25), they weren't ready to believe His resurrection until they encountered Him themselves. Who are we to blame them? We have the account of hundreds of witnesses, followed by historical evidence, backed by the personal testimonies of millions of Christians since that fateful day. It's not brand new information to us. We are not hearing the claim of a human being resurrected from the dead without reason upon reason to believe in the truth of that claim. The disciples heard the news for the first time from one woman who claimed to have seen Him in person; perhaps she had a hallucination or misunderstood the words of an ordinary gardener or had gone crazy from grief.
We each need to encounter the risen Jesus for ourselves. Mary encountered Him near the tomb; the disciples encountered Him in Emmaus and in the upper room; we encounter Him spiritually. If I want someone to know Him personally, my words and testimony might not be enough. They might not believe me any more than the disciples believed Mary Magdalene. But if I can help arrange an opportunity for that individual to encounter Him, the reaction might be like that of each person mentioned in the Gospels who had the grace of seeing Christ Jesus in the flesh after His resurrection. Not one of them is said to have disbelieved the Lord once He revealed Himself fully to them. Every one of them recognized that He was the One He claimed to be and chose to follow Him faithfully to the day of their death. My prayer and my desire for those I love is that they will encounter Him personally that they may choose to live for Him from that point until the day of their death.

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