Day 15

Mary Magdalene

Luke 8:1-3, Mark 15:37-47, John 20:1-18, Colossians 1:9-14

BY Erin Davis

As a little girl, bad dreams always drove me to make a beeline for my parents’ bedroom in the middle of the night. I’d wiggle my tiny body in between my mom and dad, and only then would my racing pulse steady. As I listened to the rhythms of my parents’ breathing, or saw the silhouettes of their faces in the moonlight, the memories of my nightmare would begin to fade. They didn’t even have to wake up for me to feel comforted. It was their presence that made the difference.

Mary Magdalene was a woman who sought the presence of Jesus. When Jesus traveled from town to town delivering the good news, Mary traveled with Him. As Jesus hung on the cross, Mary stood nearby. After His death, while His disciples scattered and hid, Mary stayed close to her Savior. She watched as Christ’s body was placed in a borrowed tomb.

Though Mary’s conversion is mysterious, we know she knew the sorrows that result from a life lived far from God. And if the nightmares of that previous life came howling, I imagine she found comfort in the nearness of her Savior, even after His death.

On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early,
while it was still dark (John 20:1).

I wonder what Mary experienced after Jesus’s death. Perhaps she tried to sleep but couldn’t. Perhaps images of her bruised and bloodied Healer rushed to the surface every time she closed her eyes. Maybe she’d spent the moonlit hours pacing, trying to shake the hopelessness that wanted to settle into the deepest crevices of her heart. Did she allow herself to think about life without Him and sigh, distraught?

Before the sun even dared to rise, Mary joined Salome and Mary, the mother of James, to anoint Christ’s body with spices (Mark 16:1). She wasn’t in denial about His death; she’d seen His lifeless body tucked into the dark tomb. But she felt compelled to join the other women in this act of care, and so she went to Him again, all the while wondering who would roll away the stone blocking them from His body. When she arrived, what she found was an empty tomb—and there, she met her risen Savior, before turning on her heel and running away to declare to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18).

How does a demon-possessed woman become the first proclaimer of the resurrection? She had been with Jesus. What was true of Mary is true for each of us: we all need the presence of Jesus. In His presence is peace and abundant joy (Psalm 16:11). May we seek and pursue Him as relentlessly as Mary did, confident His nearness will provide the comfort we crave.

Post Comments (41)

41 thoughts on "Mary Magdalene"

  1. Kelli Paskey says:


  2. Jessica Nicolas says:

    I relate to Mary, I seek His presence and crave it. I have darkness in my past, but I have been freed. And where I feel comfortable the most is in His presence! ♡

  3. Betty says:

    Not a lot is known about Mary’s past except ‘seven demons had come out’.
    That could be any of us, right? What are our demons? Pride, selfish ambition, love of money, white fragility, _________.
    I imagine today’s Mary would be an anxious, A-type, tech-exec, Pilates teaching workaholic who – once she was freed of her ‘demons’ – would experience such freedom and joy that she would gladly follow Jesus AND she would probably have the financial means and relational capital to support His ministry.
    Such is the transformational power of Jesus.

    1. Alexcia M.Lewis says:

      Your comment blessed me and helped me connect Mary’s story to our own present day ones.

  4. Laurie Crary says:

    Yes, Nancy Singleton, yes. Jesus is speaking, am I listening.

  5. Taylor says:

    How sweet it is to come into the presence of the Lord each morning. I have had a 4 day hiatus from my morning devotions and this morning was so refreshing. I’m so thankful for SRT and everyone who encourages and inspires me with your comments. I had a situation yesterday where I felt very angry, and rather than going to my friends to complain which I would normally do, God put on my heart to go to Him in prayer. I pray I would seek first Jesus and his Kingdom (Matt 6:33) before anything of this world. Thank you, Lord, for the example of Mary Magdelene and her relentless pursuit of your presence.

  6. Anna McBride says:

    “We all need the presence of Jesus” wow. So simple yet so profound and so true. Jesus’ presence when I acknowledge it wholly is what’s getting me through these rough days we’re living in.

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:


  7. Angela Sutherland says:

    Lord may my desire to be in Your presence be like Mary Magdalene’s. She went out before the sun rose and when she heard Him speak, she recognized Him.

  8. Lindsay C. says:

    John 20:16 is always an emotional passage for me. I can feel the disbelief, joy, and desperation in Mary’s voice as she responds to Jesus calling her name. Because He knows our name, we are forever changed. I have been in a season of grief, discontentment, and confusion and the Colossians passage was such an encouragement to me today. It felt like one of those times it was written just for me, for this exact moment.

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