Key Verses: “It came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.”
Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:40; John 20:11-18
THE MAJOR PURPOSE OF Christ’s First Advent was fulfilled when Jesus gave his life as a ransom or corresponding price for Adam, whose disobedience in Eden resulted in his being condemned to death along with his entire human family. (Rom. 5:12) In view of his faithful sacrifice culminating at Calvary, Jesus was resurrected and highly exalted to the divine nature. Subsequently, devoted footstep followers of the Master have been invited to reign with him during the coming thousand-year day of judgment.—Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:4,6
Our Key Verses remind us that the focus of Christ’s earthly ministry was to proclaim the glad tidings of God’s coming kingdom. We are also introduced to Mary Magdalene, who became a loyal follower of the Lord after he cast out seven devils from within her.
Two other women, Joanna and Susanna, who are mentioned in Luke 8:3, and “many others,” specially ministered unto our Lord’s temporal support. Although women are not mentioned in the New Testament nearly as frequently or prominently as men, male and female distinctions do not hinder any from becoming a consecrated follower of Christ and being a part of his body. “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Gal. 3:27-29
After Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary Magdalene arrived at his tomb before daybreak following the Sabbath. She came with spices to embalm the Lord’s body, but discovered that the tomb had been opened. She ran to tell Peter and another disciple with him that Jesus’ body was not there. When Mary returned and stood at the door of the tomb weeping, she saw a man she thought was the gardener. She did not recognize the resurrected spirit being who had materialized until he spoke and called her by name. When she heard the voice of her Master, Mary realized she was seeing Jesus. She wanted to cling him, but he told her instead to inform his brethren of having seen him. He would be with them for a while yet before he ascended to his Father.—John 20:1-18
The stirring narrative of Mary Magdalene reminds us of the great privilege she had in being the first person to speak to Jesus after his resurrection. As consecrated followers of the Master we not only can echo Paul’s assertion that Christ is risen, and became the first fruits of them that slept, but we can also look forward with anticipation to our own resurrection from the tomb as a result of his Second Advent. (I Cor. 15:20; I Thess. 4:16,17; I Pet. 5:4) Jesus’ resurrection is the precursor of the righteous government to be established on earth as a result of his glorious reign, in which we shall share if we are faithful unto death. (Rev. 2:10; 3:21; 20:6) What a marvelous prospect this is for us and all the families of the earth!