Evening, August 9, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast seven demons.” — Mark 16:9
Mary of Magdala was the victim of a terrible evil. She was possessed by not only one devil, but seven. These dreadful inmates caused much pain and corruption to the poor body in which they had found a lodging. Hers was a hopeless, horrible case. She could not help herself, and neither could benefit from any human relief. But Jesus passed that way, and unsolicited, and probably even resisted by the poor demoniac, he uttered the word of power, and Mary of Magdala became a trophy of the healing power of Jesus. All the seven demons left her — left her never to return, forcibly ejected by the Lord of all. What a blessed deliverance! What a happy change! From delirium to delight, from despair to peace, from hell to heaven! Immediately she became a constant follower of Jesus, catching his every word, following his winding steps, sharing his hard and tedious life; and in addition, she became his generous helper, first among that band of healed and grateful women who ministered to him of their wealth. When Jesus was lifted up in crucifixion, Mary remained the sharer of his shame: we find her first observing from afar, and then drawing near to the foot of the cross. She could not die on the cross with Jesus, but she stood as near it as she could, and when his holy body was taken down, she watched to see how and where it was laid. She was the faithful and watchful believer, last at the sepulcher where Jesus slept, first at the grave from where he arose. Her holy faithfulness made her favored to behold her beloved teacher, who chose to call her by her name, and to make her his messenger of good news to the fearful disciples and Peter. Thus, grace found her a maniac and made her a minister, cast out devils and caused her to behold angels, delivered her from Satan, and united her forever to the Lord Jesus. May I also be such a miracle of grace!