Award-winning Publishers Weekly Best-selling Author

Margaret Mae stood at the entrance to the prison that held her beloved Joshua. Her best friend was sentenced to life imprisonment for his supposed crimes. The trial was laced with false witnesses and tampered evidence. How could the courts convict someone as innocent as Joshua? Didn’t they see the frame?

It’s not fair. He didn’t deserve his punishment.

She took a big breath, put her hood up, and stepped through the gate. It had been three days since his trial. She needed to talk to Joshua. See his gentle face. Just be around him. Plus, she brought his favorite treat—hot cross buns.

Margaret Mae cleared all the security checks. Receiving special permission, she proceeded to his cell. The guard led her down the alley of convicted criminals. She shuddered when they called her various names.

This is no place for a lady. Even one with a soiled past.

The guard halted in front of Joshua’s cell, causing Margaret Mae to slam into the back of him. “What’s going on?” She peered over his shoulder.

The cell door was open and Joshua was gone. Only clothes and books piled neatly on the cot remained.

“Where is he? What did you do with him?” she asked.

The guard shrugged and spoke into his radio, inquiring of Joshua’s whereabouts. “He’s been released.”

Margaret Mae stepped back out into the street, questions floating through her mind. How? Where was he? Movement from behind startled her.

A clean-shaven man in a white suit approached. “Why are you crying?”

“They have released my friend,” she said. “And I don’t know where he is.”

The man stepped closer and cupped her face in his hands. “Margaret Mae, it’s me.”

Margaret Mae gasped. She almost didn’t recognize him without a beard. She threw her arms around him. “Joshua!”

“I’m free. Go and tell the others.”

Mary Magdalene was the first to find the empty tomb and the first to see Jesus in His resurrected body. Why do you think that was? What made her so special? Who was Mary Magdalene? The lover of many men? The woman who anointed Jesus with perfume? The woman who had been possessed by demons?

There seems to be a bit of controversy on that, but we do know it tells us in Luke 8:2 that Mary was freed of seven demons. We don’t know if she was the prostitute who Jesus saved from stoning or the woman who poured perfume on His feet.

Does it really matter?

No—Jesus used her anyway.

What can we learn from her?

She loved her Master deeply. Mary was there when Jesus died. Can you imagine witnessing our Savior being crucified? The torture He went through? Most of us can barely watch the movie The Passion of the Christ because it depicts this so vividly. But, can you imagine actually being there? Wow…the anguish she must have gone through. If she didn’t love Him, why would she have stayed? She sobbed when she thought someone had stolen His body. Do we love Jesus this deeply? Do we spend the time with Him we should? I have to admit, I fail here. I get too busy and rush through my devotions at times. Shame on me! Let’s love Jesus as Mary did—deeply with all our hearts.

He's not here...He's risen!

He’s not here…He’s risen!

She rejoiced and told others. When Mary realized the man before her was Jesus, she rejoiced. I can picture her throwing her arms around Him and weeping tears of joy. Then racing through the garden on winged feet to tell the others. Do we do the same to tell others our Savior has risen? Do we rejoice in it? Truly rejoice? I hope so.

So, why did Jesus appear to Mary—the Lover, first? Not entirely sure, but we know He uses people from all walks of life for different reasons. We just need to trust Him with the big pictures in life.

Let’s rejoice with Mary Magdalene.

He’s not here…He’s Risen! Just like He said. (Click to tweet)

What does Easter mean to you? Share your favorite Easter memories in the comments section.

John 20:18 (NIV)

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

He’s Alive! By Don Francisco

Performed by David Phelps & the Gaither Vocal Band

This video will give you shivers! He’s ALIVE!


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