Unremitting darkness. Loud lies repeating in your mind. Truth evasive. Hate heaped. Love removed. Catch your breath. But no. Relentless. No way out. No. Hope.
To be bound and tormented by one demon is unfathomable—Mary Magdalene experienced seven. Then she met Jesus. Her healing is not recorded, but her response to Jesus’ love is. In Luke 8:1-3, Mary Magdalene is listed among the women disciples (for whom this blog is named). She traveled with Jesus from town to town as he preached the kingdom of God—a new way of being and living—and she supported him and his ministry through her own finances. Mary Magdalene’s spiritual life was transformed when she met Jesus, and her faith resulted in a personal movement that had eternal consequences. At the time, Mary Magdalene could not have imagined where her faith would take her.
After a front row view of Jesus’ miracles and hearing his sermons, after seeing people and communities changed, after her own personal encounter, Mary Magdalene’s faith would lead her to a place of humiliating death for the one who loved her most; it would lead her to the cross. This cross is where her world would stop. When most disserted Jesus, Mary Magdalene took her discipleship seriously and was by his side when Jesus uttered his final words, “It is finished” (John 19:25-30). Questions and doubts must have invaded her mind. Pain from such a traumatic loss must have stolen her breath. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The one who saved her was no more.
This Good Friday is a unique one. Globally, we are mourning loss and living in uncertainty as COVID-19 spreads. Perhaps in this moment, we feel much like Mary Magdalene. I think that is more than okay—I think it’s needed. Like Mary, let’s meet at the cross and bring it all—the joys and the sorrows—with us.
Movement Step: On Good Friday, take some time and reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice. Joint down some notes on what he has saved you from. Be okay to sit in the shadow of Good Friday. Easter Sunday is coming, but let’s not rush this moment of stillness.
Resources Bauckham, Richard. Gospel Women. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002.
Richards, Sue and Larry Richards. Every Woman in the Bible. Thomas Nelson, 1999.