Mary Magdalene: The First Person to See the Risen Christ (The Unsung Heroes of Easter #8)


TEXT: Mark 16:1-9

On this Resurrection Sunday, we come to the final person in our Unsung Heroes of Easter series — Mary Magdalene, the first person to see Jesus Christ after he rose from the dead. She is one of the more popular figures in the Gospel narratives and is mentioned in all four Gospels. She is the woman out of whom Christ cast seven devils. Some have identified Mary Magdalene as the prostitute or “sinful woman” who washed Jesus’ feet. However, the Bible does not explicitly state that. We do know that Mary Magdalene was a woman of some means because the Bible says that she attended to Christ and helped provide for the needs of his ministry. Luke 8:2-3 states, “And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, ministered unto him of their substance.”

To many scholars and theologians down through the years, it has been significant that Jesus Christ chose to appear to a woman, and especially to Mary Magdalene, after his resurrection. Let’s look at some possible reasons why.

1. The first reason why Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene before anyone else could be because Mary Magdalene represented a direct triumph over the devil and his plan. Mark 16:9 states, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene…” Of course, we can be content to know that Christ simply appeared to Mary Magdalene first because he chose to do so. But I believe it is safe for us to say that Christ appeared to a woman first as a symbolic expression that the curse of sin that had been brought on humanity by the actions of a woman had been completely removed.

2. The second reason why Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first could be because Jesus wanted to show that he died and rose from the dead FOR SINNERS. Verse 9 of our passage notes that Mary Magdalene is the one “out of whom Christ had cast seven devils.” Most of the passages which refer to Mary Magdalene never leave out this detail. And, I believe this detail gives us another reason why Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first after his resurrection — Jesus wanted to make it clear that he came to rescue SINNERS.

3. The third reason why Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first could be because Jesus always comes to those who are searching for him. John 20, verse 1 says, “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark…” Remember that Joseph and Nicodemus had to bury Jesus hastily on Friday evening because the Sabbath was about to begin. Even though they wrapped Jesus’ body in linen and embalmed it with expensive spices, Mary and Mary Magdalene still wanted to anoint the body themselves. In their minds, it was probably the least they could do for the Saviour who had done so much for them.

7 Proofs That the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Really Happened (Part 2)


100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #55 | with Daniel Whyte III

SCRIPTURE — I Corinthians 15:1-9: “…For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”

Today, we are going to look another set of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, we are going to look at the most convincing type of evidence there is, and that is eyewitness testimony.

Josh McDowell wrote that, “When studying an event in history, it is important to know whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. If the number of eyewitnesses is substantial, the event can be regarded as fairly well established.”

As we will see today, there is an abundance of eyewitness testimony for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1. The disciples’ testimony is evidence for the resurrection.

2. Jesus’ multiple recorded appearances is proof for the resurrection

3. Third, today, the changed life of James is strong evidence for the resurrection.

4. Fourthly, and finally, Paul’s conversion is evidence for the resurrection.

+ Plus, listen to Ron Kenoly “Jesus is Alive” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”

7 Proofs That the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Really Happened (Part 1)

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #54 | with Daniel Whyte III

SCRIPTURE — Matthew 28:1-9: “…And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you…”

Peter Larson once said, “The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: ‘a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb.’ Jesus entered our world through a door marked, ‘No Entrance’ and left through a door marked ‘No Exit.'”

On yesterday, we looked at the reality of the virgin birth and saw how that it was essential for our salvation and for God’s plan of redemption. The virgin birth was indeed a miraculous event. And the event that we will talk about today is equally miraculous. We are talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The resurrection is also one of the foundation stones of Christianity. Without the resurrection, as Christians, we have no real hope of life after death. If Jesus is not alive, then He is not preparing a home for us in Heaven. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” What Paul is saying is that if we only benefit from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in this life, and have no hope beyond the grave, then we are just as good as dead. If Jesus was not resurrected, then we have no hope of being resurrected after death ourselves. So, for each of us, the stakes are high when it comes to the resurrection — eternity rests on whether or not the resurrection really happened.

I believe that God knew there would be many people who would refuse to believe that the resurrection happened, and that is why God left so much evidence behind to show that the resurrection of Jesus Christ did indeed take place. In fact, there is so much evidence surrounding the resurrection that we will not be able to cover all of it in this message, so we will deal with three evidences for the resurrection today and then look at more evidence on tomorrow.

1. The evidence of the empty tomb.

2. The evidence that the Bible records women as the first ones to learn that Jesus had been resurrected and the newsbearers of that fact.

3. The radical change in the lives of Jesus’ disciples is proof that Jesus rose from the dead

+ Plus, listen to Fred Hammond singing “Celebrate (He Lives)” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”