Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene , out of whom He had cast seven demons. NKJV
I. The Story of the Burial
A. The women were there.
1. Two very wealthy and influential men took the body and put it in a tomb that was close by.
2. They only had time to partially prepare the body.
B. The guard was set.
1. The Jewish leaders are the only one who can remember that Jesus had said that after three day He would rise from the dead.
2. They obtain the guard and make sure that the tomb is sealed to make it tamper proof.
C. The disciples
1. Frightened but still in Jerusalem
2. Maybe the same upper room
3. But unbelieving
a. So far are they from stealing the body that they do not even believe the women when told that Jesus has appeared to them.
II. The Resurrection
A. The earthquake
B. The guard
1. The guards job was practically over when the resurrection took place.
2. They go into the city to report to the Jewish leaders.
3. The chief priests bribe the guards with a large amount of money in order to get them to say that the disciples had come and stolen the body away.
C. The women at the tomb
1. The women come looking for a dead body.
2. At first they are very disturbed that Jesus body is no longer there.
3. The angels appear to them and tell them that Jesus is risen as He said.
D. Mary Magdalene runs to tell Peter and John
1. It seems that before the angels are seen Mary runs to tell the disciples
E. Peter and John run to the tomb
1. Peter doubts
2. But John believes and they leave
F. The women leave
G. Mary Magdalene stays and is the first to see the resurrected Christ.
H. Jesus then appears to the other women.
1. They had come to prepare a dead body but instead they encounter the living Christ.
III. But Why Mary?
A. Was it just location.
B. Or was it that she stayed longer than any other.
C. Or was her devotion to her Lord something that God would honor.
1. This morning at the sunrise service, it was very cloudy. It seemed there was not a hope for a ray of sunlight. But when the reader for the Gospel of Luke began to read about the resurrection of Jesus the sun shown brightly through a gap in the clouds.
2. Is it a wonder that those who stay long at prayer and the word of God are blessed with a presence of His grace?
In our story today there were all different types of responses to the resurrection.
The guards became like dead men and ran to tell the authorities.
The religious leaders did not try to deny the truthfulness of the guards but bribed them to tell a lie.
The disciples would not believe the women.
Peter could not comprehend the resurrection.
John believe but had no idea what was next.
But Mary Magdalene would not be satisfied with anything less than her Lord.
What about you. Where do you come into this today.
What is your conclusion.
To her, however, after the first moment of joy, it had seemed to be but a vision. She went with her cry of sorrow to Peter and John (let us remember that Salome had been with her), "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him" (John 20:1,2). But she returns there. She follows Peter and John, and remains when they go back. The one thought that fills her mind is still that the body is not there. She has been robbed of that task of reverential love on which she had set her heart. The words of the angels can call out no other answer than that — "They have taken awav my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" (John 20:13). This intense brooding over one fixed thought was, we may venture to say, to one who had suffered as she had suffered, full of special danger, and called for a special discipline. The spirit must be raised out of its blank despair, or else the "seven devils" might come in once again, and the last state be worse than the first. The utter stupor of grief is shown in her want of power to recognize at first either the voice or the form of the Lord to whom she had ministered (John 20:14,15). At last her own name uttered by that voice, as she had heard it uttered, it may be, in the hour of her deepest misery, recalls her to consciousness; and then follows the cry of recognition, with the strongest word of reverence which a woman of Israel could use, "Rabboni," and the rush forwards to cling to his feet. That, however, is not the discipline she needs. Her love had been too dependent on the visible presence of her Master. She had the same lesson to learn as the other disciples. Though they had "known Christ after the flesh," they were "henceforth to know him so no more." She was to hear that truth in its highest and sharpest form. "Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father." For a time, till the earthly affection had been raised to a heavenly one, she was to hold back. When he had finished his work and had ascended to the Father, there should be no barrier then to the fullest communion that the most devoted love could crave. Those who sought, might draw near and touch him then. He would be one with them, and they one with him. This is the last authentic record of the Magdalene.
(from McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)