Ever wonder why Jesus chose to appear first to a woman named Mary Magdalene after His glorious resurrection from the dead? I’m sure there may be plenty speculation, but several things come to mind.
ALL of His disciples had fled on the night of His betrayal and arrest. Peter said he would die with Him, and even pulled out his sword to prove it. Later, he would fail miserably, even before a young maiden, and deny his Lord. He wept bitterly as a result. Each of us have probably been there before; stumble along the way and then practically hide ourselves, ashamed to even lift our heads. Thomas would later refuse to believe that He had risen without tangible proof. Jesus sends a personal message to Peter and stops by again to give Thomas a chance to see and believe. He stepped into a conversation of a couple whose hearts were still numb and needing comfort as they made their way home along the Emmaus road. All of this seems to make plain the reality of Jesus’ love for His sheep. They all knew that He loved them. He seemed to go the extra mile for them.
There in the garden, Mary Magdalene didn't even recognize Him… until He called her name. “Mary.” That’s all it took to reignite hope in her heart! “He calleth his own sheep by name” is what John wrote. “… and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” Jesus meant the world to her. He had delivered her from 7 demons, and she made Him Lord of all from that day! She is an object lesson of Amazing Grace. She went on to be an eyewitness of the most significant events of all of human history: His crucifixion, His death, and then His resurrection!
Some have suggested that Jesus may have appeared to her first because of the special attention He often gives to the “least” among us. I wonder if it has to do with how much she loved Him. It can be argued that Jesus loved them all, and all loved Him… but she loved Him most. And there in the garden alone, as she sought Him, He appears to her. What a Savior!
Michael A. Johnson