Updated: Oct 21, 2022
“When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.” Matthew 16:9-10, NIV
After Jesus was raised from the dead, the angels—and Jesus--appeared to Mary of Magdala first. When she saw Jesus, He simply said her name, and she recognized him. She must have embraced Him, because He told her “don’t hold onto me.” He does ask her to do something—to go and tell the others what she’s seen. And she immediately obeyed her master and teacher. (Anne Graham Lotz says Mary Magdalene was the first evangelist.)
The fact that she mistook him for a gardener is significant. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples to wait while he prayed. Remember what happened? They fell asleep, more than once. Here in the garden near the tomb, the disciples left. But Mary stayed—just as she did at the cross. Her reward? Angels—and Jesus—revealed to her in glorious life.
What does a gardener do? He plants, tills, pulls weeds, and waits. Such a glorious thought: Jesus waits for us! He waits for us to obey, trust, serve Him wholeheartedly…to go and tell what He's done for us.
Grab onto what God wants to do in your life, friend. Don't make Him wait any longer to do the amazing work He wants to do. Let Him resurrect your grieving heart and replace the ashes with His beauty; His peace; His joy.
And when you've been healed, share that healing with others. Don't hold onto Him just for yourself. Give the gift away!