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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : LAST AT THE CROSS, FIRST AT THE GRAVE

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Mary Magdalene's devotion to Christ, is one of the most beautiful stories in the Gospels. Tradition has branded her as a great sinner‚ÄĒbut there is really nothing in the New Testament to prove that the tradition is true. It is said that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her‚ÄĒbut demoniacal possession is not identified in the Gospels with immorality. It is enough to know of Mary, that the love of Christ saved her. When she saw Him in His divine purity, and when His holy eye looked into her heart, her old self perished‚ÄĒand a new woman, without spot, arose in her.

A wonderful devotion to her new Master now possessed her. A great Moravian missionary used to say, "I have only one passion‚ÄĒand that is Jesus." So it was with Mary of Magdala. Whatever form of evil it was that had absorbed her life before Jesus found her, she was now utterly possessed, body, mind and soul‚ÄĒby her passion for Christ. In all the New Testament, there is no finer example of the consecration of a life to Christ.

During the crucifixion, Mary was among the holy women who stood beholding, in love's marvelous devotion. Perhaps she was present when Joseph and Nicodemus took down the body of Jesus from the cross, washed it, wrapped it in spices, and laid it to rest in the clean, new tomb, cut in the rock. When the other friends went away from the garden, the record shows us this picture of devotion, "Mary Magdalene was sitting there, facing the tomb."

Her devotion was matchless in its depth and in its intensity.

What was its secret? It was in her mighty love! But why did she love so much? Why did her holy passion for her Master so far exceed that of His other friends who loved Him too with unquestioned loyalty and devotion? It was because she had such a distinct realization of what she owed to Him.

Many people know they have been redeemed‚ÄĒbut seem to have only the faintest conception of the meaning of their redemption. Mary understood with unusual clearness, what Christ had done for her, and her whole soul went out to Him in adoring love.

Mary's devotion to Christ continued to show itself after His death. She had no expectation that He would rise again‚ÄĒbut she sought to honor His dead body. Her love was rewarded by being the first to whom He showed Himself alive‚ÄĒand the first to carry the news of the resurrection to the disciples.





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