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Have you noticed that there are quite a few Marys in the Bible? There were several Marys who knew Jesus — including Jesus’ mom, Mary; Lazarus’ sister, Mary; Mary, the mother of one or two of Jesus’ followers; and Mary who is often called Mary Magdalene. Magdalene isn’t her last name though. She was just from a wealthy town called Magdala.
Mary of Magdala might have been born in a wealthy part of town, but having lots of money doesn’t solve most problems. And before she met Jesus, Mary Magdalene had seven big problems. But are seven big problems a problem for Jesus? Nope. When Jesus saw those seven evil problems, Jesus told them to shooo-shooo-shooo, OUT of Mary’s life and OUT of town! And of course, those evil things obeyed Jesus quicker than you can say “skiddadle.”
From then on, Mary Magdalene stayed as close to Jesus as she could. In fact, she and several other ladies used their own money to take care of Jesus and His followers while they traveled. These ladies helped provide food and clothes and stuff for Jesus and His disciples.
The day Jesus died, Mary and some of these women stayed near Jesus the whole time He was dying on the cross. They were so sad that day, but they didn’t leave Jesus. Even after Jesus died, they followed Jesus’ body and made sure it got safely inside the tomb.
On the third morning after Jesus died, while it was still early in the morning and dark outside, Mary and several other women went back to the tomb, hoping to put more sweet smells on Jesus’ body. But when they got to the tomb, the big stone in front of it had been rolled out of the way, and Jesus’ body was GONE! Now you already knew that, but these women were stunned!
When Mary saw the big stone rolled away, she took off running to get Peter and John. “Somebody’s taken the Lord’s body from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put Him!” she cried.
At that, Peter and John took off running, themselves — running back to the tomb with Mary.
Peter and John looked in the tomb, and sure enough it was empty! Peter and John ran back to tell the others.
But Mary stayed by the tomb weeping. Suddenly, two angels appeared and asked her, “Ma’am, why are you crying?”
She was so upset, all she could say was, “They’ve taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where He is.”
Just then she turned and saw a man behind her. The man asked her the same question the angels asked, “Why are you crying?”
Mary thought the man was the gardener, so she said, “Gardener, sir, if you’ve taken His body away, please tell me where you put Him and I’ll go and get Him.”
Then the man gently said her name, “Mary.” Gasp. Mary had been mistaken. This man wasn’t the gardener at all. It was Jesus!
(You’ll see in the next stories too, but after Jesus was Risen, His flesh body didn’t look exactly the same. That’s because from now on, it always take Faith to See Jesus for Who He is. As Jesus Himself said, His sheep know Him. They recognize their Shepherd’s voice. But His voice isn’t something you just hear with your ears. It’s an inner hearing. A Hearing Him and Seeing Him from the inside, not just with those ears on the side of your head or with those eyes on the front of your face.)
“Teacher!” Mary cried. She wanted to give Him a big hug, but Jesus gently said, “Don’t hang on to Me just yet. Go tell My brothers that I’m going up to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.”
Mary ran — double speed! She burst in to tell the others the news. “I’ve SEEN the LORD! I’ve SEEN the LORD!”
And she had!