Set Free – How Mary Magdalene Was Just Like Us
By Steph Nickel
Have you been set free? Just like he did for Mary Magdalene, Jesus offers us the ultimate freedom, and it’s our responsability to tell others.
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There has been much speculation about Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus, and much of it is heretical. She, however, plays a very important role in the gospel and we have much to learn from her.
Plus, Mary Magdalene was just like us in many ways.
Mary knew what it was like to be unable to free herself.
True liberty comes from encountering the Saviour. We all have things that weigh us down and hold us back. Romans 3:23 tells us we have all sinned. Sin’s bondage prevents us from becoming obedient, devoted followers of the Lord. In Mary Magdalene’s case, she was possessed by seven demons. She experienced spiritual bondage to the extreme.
Mary needed the Lord to set her free.
Jesus drove out those seven demons and set this woman free. If He is able to do that, He is most certainly able to free us from the bonds that hinder us. Just because our reality isn’t as dramatic as Mary’s was, we must remember that we cannot become God-honouring, faithful, loving people without His intervention in our life. We truly need Him to set us free. We first experience that freedom when we come to saving faith, but we need His ongoing work in our lives to free us from the sin that we must battle every day, our sin and the sin of those around us.
The Saviour’s intervention in Mary’s life evoked selfless devotion.
When Mary was set free, she didn’t thank Jesus and go on her way. She was committed to following her Saviour and Lord. In fact, she was at the cross when He was crucified. Mary Magdalene’s devotion even led her to His tomb, where she and “the other Mary” sought to wrapped His broken body in spices and cloth, as was their custom. She didn’t know the grave could not keep Him. Instead of allowing her horror at the crucifixion or her heartache at the thought of His death holds her back, she sought to honour Him as a way of thanking Him for what He’d done for her.
Because of her relationship with the Lord, she experienced great heartache and great joy.
I’m certain her heartache was intense. But so was her joy. Have you lost family and friends because of your faith in the Lord Jesus? Many people suffer in this and worse ways to this day. Ultimately, our relationship with the Lord is worth any price we may be called to pay, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. And if the Lord has set us free and we continue to draw close to Him, the joy we experience is even more intense than the heartache.
With the joy of encountering Jesus comes responsibility.
Mary Magdalene was among the first people to see Jesus after He rose from the dead.
The first 10 verses of Matthew 28 say, “Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me’” (ESV).
Did you catch what Jesus said in verse 10? Mary was to go and tell the disciples that she had seen Him. I’m sure she wanted nothing more than to stay with Him and follow Him wherever He went. However, that was not what He called her to do.
We, too, are called to make the risen Saviour known. We are called to share the good news whether others want to hear it or not.
Was it Mary Magdalene’s responsibility to convince them she wasn’t hallucinating, that the Lord really had risen from the dead? No, it was simply her job to tell them what she’d seen and heard. That’s our responsibility as well.
Loved, Blessed and Called to Make Jesus Known
We must come apart, spend time in God’s Word and prayer. We must fellowship with other believers. It is during these times we experience the Lord’s presence and get to know Him better. And as much as we may want to stay there, there is a world waiting to hear the Truth—even if they don’t know it, even if the think they already know the truth and are walking in the light.
Let’s thank the Lord today for the freedom He has given us. Let’s commit to spending more time in His presence. And let’s ask Him for the desire and opportunity to obey His command to share the Truth with family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, everyone we encounter.
Thank you so much for listening. Just like us, Mary Magdalene was loved, blessed, and called to make Jesus known.
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Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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