Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Mark 16:9-11

John 20:2-18

After Mary had seen the empty tomb, she ran and found Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples.  The two disciples ran to the tomb, with John getting there ahead of Peter. John stopped at the entrance of the sepulchre, seeing the tomb was empty except for the linen clothes lying there.  Peter arrived, entered the tomb, and saw that the napkin that had covered Jesus’ head was wrapped in a place separate from the other burial clothes.

John wrote that he also went into the tomb, “saw, and believed.”

They did not fully understand what it all meant.  Peter and John went home, but Mary stayed at the sepulchre, crying.

Mary looked again into the tomb and saw two angels.  They asked her why she was crying. She said, “because they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid him.”

When she said this, she turned around and saw someone on the outside of the tomb, though she did not recognize who it was.  It was Jesus. Jesus asked her, “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?”

Mary Magdalene at the Sepulchre by Harold Copping

Mary thought this man was the gardener who took care of the area and she told him, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”  

Then Jesus simply said, “Mary.”

Mary turned herself fully to look at him and said, “Rabboni” which means “Master.”

Jesus told her she could not yet touch him because he needed to go to his Father.  He said she should go to the disciples and “say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

Christ at the Tomb by Dale Kilbourn

Mary Magdalene had been the first to see the resurrected Jesus.  She went and told the disciples that Jesus was alive and He had talked with her.  The Bible says that when they heard this, they believed not.

After the agony of seeing their Lord suffer and die, to then see an empty tomb and hear that he had appeared to one of them must have brought so many different feelings to the group of disciples.  Would they have more witness than one?

What do you think?

  • Can you imagine seeing the empty tomb and then hearing that Jesus had appeared to your friend Mary Magdalene?  How would you feel?
  • Can you imagine weeping at the tomb, crying because the body of Jesus had been taken away, then hearing a voice, seeing a man, and then recognizing it really was Jesus?  What would it be like to see that your Lord was alive again?  
  • What would you do if you were the only witness of this amazing event?
  • If Jesus never appeared to anyone else, would this one witness be enough?  What if Jesus had never appeared to anyone? What if he appeared to many, many people?

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