I Have Seen the Lord by Tony Nester

I Have Seen the Lord
Tony Nester
John 20:1-18

Who was this woman,
• this Mary from Magdala,
• this Mary Magdalene,
• this Mary who was "last at the cross and first at the
tomb"?

She is the one:
• out of whom Jesus cast seven demons (Luke 8:2);
• who, along with other women, gave support and care to Jesus and his disciples (Luke 8:3);
• who stood watch at the cross while when Jesus was crucified (Matthew 27:55);
• who saw where Jesus body had been entombed (Mark 15:47)
• who went to the tomb early on that first Easter morning (John 20:1) to care for the body of Jesus - a body twisted, bled and torn by the trauma of crucifixion;
• who, on finding the tomb empty, her Lord's body missing, sobbed with tears of bitter sorrow;
• who was asked, as though uncomprehending her grief, "Woman, why are you weeping?"

What kind of question is that?
Is it not obvious that the tears
flowing down her face
have erupted from the sorrow
of her repeated losses?

Her early losses in life are not identified for us by the Gospels - Luke's Gospel (Luke 8:3) simply tells us that Jesus had released her from her demons - seven of them. What were those demons? We don't know.

The New Testament doesn't separate our problems into separate sources the way we do today -
claiming that the deep disturbances in our life have a specific and separate origin - they are physical, or psychological, or chemical, or hormonal, or emotional, or mental. Just as leprosy was a name for a variety of skin diseases, so too demonic possession referred to whatever force had turned someone's life into a living hell.

The details of Mary's hell are not shared with us. But we do know that she had found her release and her healing in Jesus. She had joined the other women who accompanied the disciples and helped care for their needs as they traveled through Galilee.

But her losses remained a matter of ...


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