Mary, The Happy Girl: The Final Part in a Seven-Week Bible Study for Women

It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the final part of our Bible study based on Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s HeartThis book will be published TOMORROW! I feel like the woman in our Bible story for today…..happy! But, of course, Mary Magdalene had so much more to sing about than a new book release… Jesus, the King of the world, and the Lord of her life had just been released from the grave. Let’s tiptoe to that quiet hillside with Mary and see what she sees…

Read: John 20:1-18

Who was Mary Magdalene? What was so special about this woman that Jesus, the risen Christ, would choose to appear to her first?

Luke tells us that Mary, from the town of Magdala, was, first and foremost, a disciple of Jesus. Traveling with the Twelve, she was one from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons. No wonder, then, that she helped support Jesus and his followers out of her own means, trying to give back to the One who had rescued her.

This faithful disciple followed Jesus wherever he went, and when his journey took him to Calvary, she didn’t turn away. She went along too. We find her at the foot of the cross, alongside Mary, the mother of Jesus.

At Calvary, Mary Magdalene would have heard Jesus cry out, It is finished! She would have seen the blood running from his feet, witnessed the sky turn black, heard the sound of Jesus’ last breath, and the ear-splitting noise of the temple curtain being torn in two.

You can imagine that she stayed there until the bitter end, and watched, weeping, as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of her Lord away.

But three days later,

Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb… John 20:1

While the eleven disciples were probably still sleeping, Mary was not only awake, she was up and dressed and on her way to the grave before the sun was out.

Jesus was DEAD, but this faithful disciple would not give up. She was still following him. She went to anoint his body, but would end up announcing his victory. Her hard journey to the tomb would end in triumph. The one who bravely tiptoed to that quiet cave on the hillside was rewarded with the biggest surprise the world has ever known.

And perhaps this is the reason that Jesus chose to appear to Mary Magdalene first… because she put herself in that place. Instead of turning away, instead of sleeping, Mary Magdalene went to the place of grief, and suffering, and great loss, and found the unimaginable: the unbelievable truth of the resurrection and the hope of heaven.

As a result, Mary was the first to proclaim the unbelievable news to an astonished world:

I have seen the Lord! John 20:18

Two thousand years after Mary Magdalene stepped into that quiet tomb, my sister and I, following in her footsteps, did the same. I’ll never forget my sister’s words, as she turned to me, smiled, and said:

This is a happy place.

And it was. We stepped out of The Garden Tomb to be greeted by sunshine and butterflies and spring flowers, and I remembered what the angels had said on that miraculous, hope-filled morning, so long ago:

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Luke 24: 6

Friends, this is what you and I prepare to celebrate this Easter… a living Savior, a resurrected Lord, One who stepped out from the grave to prove that heaven is real, One who loves you and I just as much as he loved Mary Magdalene.

Can we follow him, to the end?

Prayer:

Jesus, the One who went to the cross on our behalf, fill us with your peace as we approach Holy Week. Give us the courage to follow you as Mary Magdalene did, to stay by your side, even if we’re in a place we don’t want to be. And then lead us, through, to glory. Amen.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Close your eyes and picture Mary Magdalene’s last sight of Jesus’ dead body. Look at it. Now picture the risen Jesus stepping from the tomb, completely healed except for the scars on his hands and feet. How does that make you feel?
  • When have you set out on a hard journey, and found astonishing hope at the end of it?
  • What is your favorite part of this story?
  • What is God revealing to you through this story?

Going Deeper:

Look back on the women of the New Testament who we have met in this seven-week study… The Young Girl; The Thirsty Girl;  The Forgiven Girl; The Busy GirlThe Generous Girl; and The Grateful Girl. What common themes do you find?

Preorder Girls’ Love Letters

Enter This Five Book Giveaway

13 thoughts on “Mary, The Happy Girl: The Final Part in a Seven-Week Bible Study for Women

  1. Pauline Smith

    This is just what I needed to read this morning and be reminded that the pain of the crucifixion was followed by the joy of the resurrection. I sort of forget that Mary was a disciple – just like we are. I’ll be back later. Off to work now thinking of that happy place!

    Reply
  2. Mary Jane

    After Easter is the real story!!! Our Risen Christ and WHY he died and rose is the great story. May I ever remember that and be thankful!!!

    Reply
  3. Lori

    Visualizing as Mary, I would be amazed, elated, and maybe a bit scared but I think that Jesus had some kind of aura that was defining somehow, so I think Mary knew. I would probably faint, too! LOL
    One of my hard journeys was when I lost my first husband. I was only 27 and that was a very hard journey. Two years down the road, with much healing, God lead me back into a relationship with Mike who I had loved before meeting my deceased husband. As you know, Glenys, Mike became by 2nd husband and we will be celebrating 25 years May 23 of this year. God lead me through something that was devastating into another life if happiness. Of course, Dana was also born 4 months after his death and having her also played a part in the healing process as well.
    My favorite part of the story is the love that was passed between Jesus and Mary. I do feel Jesus love for me throughout all my trials and especially the one mentioned. So many other things could have happened that did not.

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Thank you so much, Lori, for sharing your lovely story…of God’s faithfulness through trials. Happy 25th to you and Mike!

      Reply
  4. Anita

    I imagine I would be speechless if I had seen Jesus dead on the cross and then seen him alive in all his glory. I would hard to believe but wondrous too.
    When I was diagnosed with cancer and faced surgery and radiation treatments, was afraid and overwhelmed. Thankfully I worked in and worshipped with a loving and supportive church family. I knew many people were praying for me and that made all the difference. The end of my weeks of radiation treatment marked the beginning of a new life not only for me but also for our newest grandchild! Now he is 11 and I am still cancer free. My family and friends filled me with hope and they still do. Thanks be to God!
    I think my favorite part of the story is the angels’ message – “He is not here – He is risen!” A message that leaves us with hope always no matter what is happening in our lives.

    Reply
  5. Linda

    Thank you for your emailed series about women of the Bible, Glenys. And also for the sharing that follows each posting. I was gone when they started, and have read one each day, getting caught up. Lent has been a good time for me to ponder them. I have not commented along the way, so decided to tell you now that they have been thought-provoking and appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Linda

    Reply
    1. Glenys Post author

      Linda, you have no idea how much that note encouraged me. Thank you so much for sharing that. I am so glad that you found the studies useful in your Lenten walk. Committing to write a fourteen week Bible study was a challenge for me, and so it’s wonderful to know that it was appreciated. God’s blessings to you.

      Reply
  6. Peggy Manrose

    It was a wonderful study series, Glenys! These women of the Bible have new meaning to me now. May your Holy Week be a meaningful one to you, and Happy Easter to you and David!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *