Encounter: Mary Magdalene

Encountering Jesus’

Desire to Transform Us

Luke 8:1-3

Matthew 27:55-28:10

Mark 15:40-16:10

Luke 23:48-24:10

John 20:1-18

By Rachel Moore

Mary Magdalene’s life could be separated into two parts, BC and AD — before Christ and after her deliverance. She was a woman bound, tormented by the presence of seven demons. That is, until she encountered Jesus. He delivered her from these demons and set her free. From that moment, her AD, she followed Christ. Not satisfied to simply receive her gift of freedom and move along, she remained close to Jesus. She was one of many women who followed Him, ministering to His needs as He preached the kingdom of God.

I can only imagine the change in her countenance as she went from possessed woman bound by the devil to delivered woman alive with the light of Christ. I picture her stooped frame, as her spirit and mind contended for control while being occupied by seven demons. What freedom she felt as she encountered the true Messiah! Had others tried to deliver her before? Had she wanted freedom, or was she resigned to this full house inside her, this evil company that was all she had known? Either way, she would never be the same once Jesus set her free. Her encounter with Christ gave her the line in her history, from BC to AD. She was never the same again. 

Can you imagine the radiance on her face, the peace of hearing her own thoughts in her mind, rather than the many voices of the spirits that controlled her? Christ had completely regenerated her, removing her heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh. He gave her the gift of salvation and faith, as she purposed herself to follow Christ. What had her life been before Him? There was nothing for her there now. She followed Him, both feet firmly planted in her new life and identity.

I am moved by the faithfulness of Mary Magdalene to stay close to Jesus. She left her old life behind, walking with Him. She stayed near during His crucifixion and burial. How easy it would have been to abandon Him like the others during this time! But this faithful woman stayed. She witnessed His body being prepared for burial and placed in the tomb. How easy to walk away. But she didn’t. She stayed, weeping for her Lord. Her faithfulness brought her back to the tomb, intending to anoint His body with spices. But the body was no longer there because Jesus was alive! She was witness to another miracle, being the first to encounter the risen Jesus. 

As I read her story, I wonder about my own life. Can I recognize my own BC to AD moment? I am grateful that my story doesn’t begin with the presence of seven demons (praise God), but my own transformation is no less miraculous. It is the same story of a woman dead and bound, brought to life in Christ. I was a slave to sin, born into death, as we all are. But through His mercy, Christ met me, turned my heart of stone into a heart of flesh, giving me life instead of death, hope instead of despair, and righteousness instead of the wrath I deserved. My sin meant I was completely separated from God, just like Mary Magdalene. But the same Christ that saw her and saved her is the same Christ who sees me and saves me, too. 

Because I too have a line through my history, I have to ask: am I staying close to Christ the same way Mary Magdalene did? Have I let my old self be buried, putting away those things that used to define me? We may not have as clear a deliverance story as Mary Magdalene, but if you are in Christ, your story and mine are just as miraculous. We have encountered the living Jesus and have been brought from death to life. 

I will never hold the place in history that Mary Magdalene does, but I still have the privilege of living my own story of BC to AD. I still have the same call as she did — go and tell the others that Jesus is alive. I am convicted! Too often I let the fear of looking foolish keep me from telling others about Christ. I let a fear of rejection keep me from sharing the truth of the Gospel. I am a transformed woman, but my silence keeps others from knowing this truth. 

I have to ask myself, like Mary Magdalene, am I willing to be associated and identified with Christ in a world that hates Him? Am I proclaiming the truth of who He is and what He has done to other believers as well as those yet to know Him? 

If you are in Christ, you too have a line in your history, separating who you were from who you are now. As we examine the miracle of our own salvation, let us take courage from Mary Magdalene’s example. Plant both feet firmly in the reality of who Jesus is and what he has done. With boldness, let us go and share this truth with others.

Rachel Moore is the wife to Chris (12 years and counting) and stay-at-home mama to three little girls (ages 6, 4, and 1). She is an avid knitter, loves to read, and is exceptionally gifted at pursuing these hobbies at the expense of less interesting things (like housework).