All good things must come to an end. –Geoffrey Chaucer
There is a great deal of mystery that surrounds Mary Magdalene. Although the Bible says nothing of the sort, many believe her to have been a prostitute or an otherwise scandalous woman. What we do know from the scriptures is that Jesus freed Mary Magdalene from demons (Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9). After this we know that Mary Magdalene became a follower of Jesus who witnessed His crucifixion (John 19:25). In every gospel account, she is among the first to find the tomb empty and to testify to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Whatever her past, whatever her real story, we know that Mary Magdalene placed her hope in Jesus. Being a Jewish woman in the 1st century meant being considered valuable only through the birthing of sons. Women were considered unreliable, weak, and without any real potential, yet every gospel account records this woman who risked everything to find hope in Jesus. Can you imagine how she felt when this man—who surely was of God—treated her like she had purpose, value, and love? We all seek these things. After all that, can you imagine how she felt when this man was murdered? She must have felt as if her life was returning to the darkness. All good things must come to an end—and this, surely was the end.
Many times, we find our value or safety, in other people or in other things. We all know, somewhere deep inside, that, inevitably, those things must come to an end. I have a great love and desire to spend my life with my wife, but I know that it is likely that one of us will be left alone when the other dies. For some, death came in the form of betrayal or infidelity. My children look to my wife and me for assurance, direction, love, and security, yet one day, we will be gone and all they will have left are the memories and the lessons we taught them. Some children place their hopes in their parents only to have them bring darkness in the form of abuse or discouragement. We may even place our hopes in a country, but history is clear that no country lasts forever. All good things must come to an end. So, what does that say about hope? Is it only a fleeting dream?
Mary’s hope, whatever her past, was in Jesus. She probably suspected somewhere in her heart, that this too would come to an end. The grave seemed to affirm this notion. When she went to the tomb and it was empty, it may have felt as if the darkness was, once again, overtaking the light.
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher)” (NIV John 20:10-16).
When we are faced with death and darkness, such as Mary was, it is common to revert to the saying, “All good things must come to an end,” but this is not truly the case. Mary faced what must have seemed like an obvious dead end. There was nothing to hope for, only mourn. In that moment Jesus called her name, “Mary”. Not only had her hope risen from the grave, He was still there for her. Your God lives, and He is always there for you.
The resurrection is important because it teaches us that the greatest thing is eternal. God offers eternal life to all who would receive His gift of salvation. The resurrection reminds us that the one who holds us in the highest esteem will never leave us—it will not end. Place your hopes in the One who is eternal and has conquered death itself. Place your hopes in the Light of the World for He has overwhelmed the darkness.
If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007. Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!