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Four Women Who Changed The World

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Four Women Who Changed The World

“Mary Magdalene The Unclean”

03.23.2014

Mary Magdalene is one of the most controversial and misunderstood persons of the N.T. She’s been the subject of so much debate both in the world and in the church.

Some say she was a prostitute. Others say she was a crazy, demonized woman like the one portrayed in our drama this morning.

And yet others say she was a leader, an Apostle to the Apostles, and they even claim she wrote what should have been a gospel, which was consequently excluded because she was a woman!

It’s interesting to me how the world has been totally fascinated with Mary Magdalene:

In my day in 1973 the explosive movie, soundtrack and then mega Broadway show ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ portrayed Mary Magdalene as having romantic feelings for Jesus

And today in 2006 the DaVinci Code boldly declared that Jesus and Mary Magdalene not only had feelings for each other but were married and had children together (incidentally, the Mormon’s taught this same deception for many years).

I think part of the misunderstanding about Mary Magdalene comes from the fact that there were four Mary’s mentioned in the N.T. and their characters are commonly confused.

But we are going to deal with what we do know about her from scripture; we DO KNOW there was a season when darkness dominated Mary’s life. We also know Jesus completely and totally set her free and Mary Magdalene became one of His most trusted, faithful followers.

You could think of Mary as the female version of John the Beloved, the Disciple whom Jesus loved.

Mary loved Jesus and Jesus loved Mary; that much we know for sure. Their bond was undeniable and was evident at some of the most important ministry moments of Jesus life on earth.

Mary Magdalene Facts: (Screen)
She had 7 unclean, demonic spirits casts out of her. That is said of Mary several times.
  
It’s spoken of here in Luke 8:1-3.
Mark verifies this same truth in his gospel: Mark 16:9 “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.”

The power of the gospel is the power to restore the fallen. THOSE WHO ARE UNDER SATANIC INFLUENCE ARE STILL WITHIN THE REACH OF THE GOSPEL!
You may have someone ‘unclean’ in your family. They are not so dirty that the gospel of Jesus can’t clean them up! You may be ‘unclean.’ You came to the right place today!
  
Look at what comes right before the account of Luke 8 – Luke 7:36-38.
Let me ask you, who was the one who went to the tomb to anoint Jesus body?

That’s why I believe this IS Mary Magdalene.
  
To the Pharisees, what happened next looked sexual and weird, but this wasn’t weird. This was about a woman who loved Jesus because He had cleansed her from every sin and stain and set her free from the darkness of the demonic – Luke 7:39.

Bible Exposition Commentary: Jewish rabbis did not speak to women in public nor did they eat with them in public. A woman of this type would never be welcomed into the house of Simon the Pharisee (Dorene’s experience).

Luke 7:40-50; Luke 8:1a.

Here’s another important fact about Mary:
  
All four gospel writers included Mary Magdalene in their accounts of Jesus death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
  
Mary stayed at the cross while all the disciples (except John) fled for their lives.

I find it interesting that in spite of how much women were devalued and uninvited to the Kingdom, Jesus raised their value high going against the prevailing culture. So it was women who were at his trial, women who stayed with him to the end, and women to whom Jesus revealed Himself first (and still the men did not believe).
  
Mary stayed with Jesus body as it was removed from the cross and then she dutifully escorted it to the Garden Tomb.

In Matthew’s record of Jesus burial he makes it sound like Mary was guarding it like a soldier guarding the tomb of a famous warrior: Matthew 27:61 “And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.”

How many hours did they sit there that Good Friday night…only God knows!
Just a little over a year ago we were at the Garden Tomb and I sat down opposite the tomb (Screen: picture). It was one of my most powerful moments on the entire trip, I couldn’t stop weeping.

Here are some more impressive FACTS about Mary:
  
Mary was the first person at the tomb on Resurrection Sunday
  
She was the first person to see the Risen Savior
  
She was the first person to run with the good news HE IS RISEN!  

It was John the Beloved who painted such a heartwarming picture of the Beloved Mary Magdalene in his gospel.

Let’s turn to John 20 and look at a couple of verses before we pray.

Mary arraigned to meet some of the other ladies at the tomb, but of course she arrived there first – John 20:1.

Some have questioned why Christians have moved the Jewish Sabbath from the 7th day of the week to the 1 st day of the week. This is why, because Jesus arose on the 1st Day of the Week.

If that’s the case, then Mary Magdalene was the first Christian to observe the FIRST Sunday Sabbath!

Let me ask you, do you come to church on the Lord’s Day to see the Lord? Mary came looking for Jesus!

We will each have a revelation of Jesus to the degree of our love for Him.

Peter and John showed up, examined the physical evidence, and turned around and went home.

Peter and John saw the grave clothes, but they felt no need to stay, to linger, to ponder, to reflect, to mourn. They did what came natural, they acted, they moved, they went into ‘fix mode,’ let’s resolve this situation, but NOT MARY!

Mary stayed. She meditated. She contemplated, mused, reflected, prayed, wept and sat where Jesus had previously been. It was enough for Mary to be where He had been! 

Mary said, I want to see Jesus! I must see Jesus!

And Mary saw something nobody else was privileged to see – John 20:10-17.

What was Jesus doing between the moment of His death on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and His resurrection early on Sunday morning?

Ephesians 4:8-10 says; “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended” — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Jesus had a mission. He was to set the O.T. captives FREE. They were in Paradise waiting to be led into heaven where Jesus was to offer His blood to the Father once and for always.

So Jesus descended and went into hell, TOOK the keys to death and the grave, took the captives with Him (Rambo) and was ASCENDING to the Father to finish His work….BUT HE GOT DETAINED!!!

Somebody was praying. Somebody was calling out to God in deep agony of spirit. Somebody touched the heart of God and He said, STOP FOR A MINUTE Jesus and help that woman!!!

I heard Pastor Robert Morris say when Jesus interrupted His mission for Mary Magdalene that’s when Matthew 27:52-53 was fulfilled.

Matthew 27:52-53 “and the graves were opened; (same time as Jesus grave) and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”

If that’s true and if that’s when it happened, then Mary Magdalene caused quite a stir by her passionate prayers to see Jesus one more time!

Poem: “Not she with traitorous kiss her Master stung, Not she denied Him with unfaithful tongue; She, when apostles fled, could dangers brave, Last at His cross, and earliest at His grave.”

Mary Magdalene may have at one time been a person of dubious character, but she found a true love in Jesus the Christ and her faith and devotion for God were unequaled among her peers.

As Jesus said in Luke 7:47; “ Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

Take My Life And Let It Be
(Mary Magdalene)

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only,

PRAYER

ALTAR

  

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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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