Not she with traitorous kiss her Master stung,
Not she denied Him with unfaithful tongue;
She, when Apostles fled, could dangers brave,
Last at the Cross, and earliest at the grave. Author unknown
…Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
…throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene…
The bravest of all, Mary stayed, not caring for her life in garden, cross, and grave.
THE RISEN ONE
Until his final hour he had never
refused her anything or turned away,
lest she should turn their love to public praise.
Now she sank down beside the cross, disguised,
heavy with the largest stones of love
like jewels in the cover of her pain.
But later, when she came back to his grave
with tearful face, intending to anoint,
she found him resurrected for her sake,
saying with greater blessedness, “Do not –“
She understood it in her hollow first:
how with finality he now forbade
her, strengthened by his death, the oils’ relief
or any intimation of a touch:
because he wished to make of her the lover
who needs no more to lean on her beloved,
as, swept away by joy in such enormous
storms, she mounts even beyond his voice.
(Rainer Maria Rilke, New Poems, Second Part, 1908)
Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
… ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple…John 20:1-2
Returning, she saw two angels…and then, “Mary” — and to Him, “Rabboni.”
She embraced the feet of the risen Christ; “Do not cleave to me.”
No more would men cleave the flesh of the God-man. Resurrected people cleave a higher plane?
- Yes we cleave the “ever present one.”
- Yes, we cleave the anointed Savior.
- Yes, we cleave the finished redemption — re-conciliated man!
- Yes, we cleave the barriers removed.
First we had the barrier of imputed sin that would keep us from ever being saved, even before we personally sinned (Romans 5:12).
- The second barrier is the old sin nature and its production of personal sins
- The third barrier we face is the fact of our natural birth into a body of death.
- The fourth barrier is iniquity with its production of evil (the infections of the serpent, Satan).
- … for many believers guilt is a tremendous barrier— the fig leaves, the fear complex. But He took guilt away with unconditional subjective love, and it is no longer a barrier if we give it to Him. Dr. Carl Stevens
Mary Magdalene by John Piper — last stanzas
The seven demons overthrown,
Now Mary crumples on the stone.
And Jesus reaches out his hand
And touches her, “Come, Mary, stand.”
Instead she crawls and clasps his feet,
And weeps with heaving sobs and sweet,
As if a thousand years of chains
Were cut away and deepest stains
Were clean, and all her mind
Were given back to her, inclined
Another way. “Now cease to hold
My feet,” he says, “for it is told
Of old that I must drink my cup.”
Then gently Jesus lifts her up
And says, “For this I must be free —
Like you. Now come and follow me.”
And so, sweet fire of candle three,
That burns so bright and painfully,
Come, light the midnight of our days,
And strike the towers of our ways.
And when we think our chains are strong,
And slavery has been too long,
And wicked ropes are bound too tight,
And demons lurk beneath our sight,
Think not that we are too unclean:
Remember Mary Magdalene.
Come sweetly, painful flame, and be
The fire that sets the captives free. John Piper (@JohnPiper)