Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:17–18 (ESV)
To Read: John 20:1–18
Biblical Synopsis: Mary Magdalene stayed by Jesus’ side during his death and burial. After he was risen, she found his tomb empty and assumed his body had been stolen. But Jesus appeared to Mary near the tomb and told her to proclaim the good news of his resurrection!
Application for Today: Women have been strong witnesses for Christ throughout the centuries but did you know that the early church gave the first official title of apostle to Mary Magdalene?
The key characteristic of apostleship is that an apostle has seen the risen Lord (1 Cor. 9:1). Mary Magdalene was one of the first to see Christ, hence she was an “Apostle to the Apostles.”
Mary Magdalene appears to have been a wealthy independent woman from Magdala who followed Jesus and his disciples and served as a financial benefactor. Scripture also adds that she had been healed from 7 demons who plagued her.
What she is best known for though is for her witness to Jesus’ resurrection. This is astonishing, especially considering the culture of that day. The testimony of a woman was not considered valid. In a Jewish court of law, you needed the testimony of two males for something to be considered valid.
The fact that Jesus chose a woman as the first testifier of his resurrection highlights the importance of women in evangelizing about our risen Christ.