John 20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
Mary Magdalene showed up for Jesus. She showed up early, and she showed up often. Scripture tells us she provided financial support to the ministry of Christ and his apostles “out of [her] own means.”
While many of Christ’s closest disciples abandoned him on Good Friday, Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross, with him until (what she surely believed was) the bitter end.
And here we find her, early on Easter morning, visiting Christ’s grave. Showing up.
It’s no mystery why Mary followed Christ so faithfully. Luke and Mark tell us he cast seven demons out of her. Seven! The demons are not named, but to me, the number brings to mind the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Demons each of us battle on a daily basis.
There is a lot of conjecture about who Mary Magdalene was and what her relationship was with Christ. But despite all the hypotheses, myths, and debates, almost all Christians agree: She was the first to see the Resurrected Lord. And that is because she showed up.
Christ doesn’t need us to show up for Him. But he wants us to. And we need to. If we are to have our demons cast out, if we are to be in relationship with Him, if we are to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding and that only he can offer, we have to show up.
When we pray, when we study Scripture, when we turn our voices and hearts to God in worship, we show up for Christ. We allow him to work in us and through us, and to draw us closer to him.
This Holy Week, may we show up. May we seek Christ early, while it is still dark, so that we may discover the true, everlasting joy of his resurrection.