Serving Grace

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” 8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 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. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. Mark 16:1‑11 (NKJV)

Mary Magdelene had experienced great deliverance through Jesus Christ. He cast out of her seven demons who had tortured her for who knows how long. When Jesus died on the cross, the believers must have thought, “Is that it? Am I going to return to the way I was?” Did Mary have to fear that? Do we have to fear that?

The resurrection shows that we don’t have to fear anything. Death didn’t defeat Jesus and life won’t defeat us. If we believe that Jesus rose from the dead, we don’t have to be afraid, worry or complain. If we were wise, we’d give all our cares to Christ.

This is a challenge for us each and every day: am I going to live in the hope and life that Jesus brings? We may not be in the horrible state that Mary Magdelene was in, but none of us are free from sin. Our hope is not in who were as sinful people, but in who we are as Christ’s forgiven and blessed people.

Mary’s response was one of loving gratitude for what Christ had done. She sought ways to serve Christ and others because of what Christ had done for her. Believing is the beginning of serving Christ and others. “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11‑12, NIV).