One of my favorite parts of the Easter story is Mary’s place in it. Before any of the apostles saw the empty tomb or the risen Savior, Mary Magdalene did. She got to the tomb with the other women. She heard the angel’s message. She saw Jesus’ face when he appeared to her. “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said’” (Matthew 28:1,5,6).
Why should that make you smile? Because Mary had the messiest story of them all. We sometimes think of proud Peter as the biggest sinner. Or doubting Thomas. Or Matthew, the ex-tax collector. But, according to the Bible, Mary had an even messier past. She was once possessed by seven demons (Luke 8:2)! Demons! Seven of them! Yet the one with the most in her closet was closest to Jesus.
I love that fact. You may have a messy past too. A legal record. A broken home. A dark secret. A wayward child. A hidden struggle. A failed marriage. But don’t be afraid. Jesus was crucified and raised, just as he said, so that you could have a place in his story. So that you could see his smiling face. So that you could fall at his holy feet in worship.
If your life is messy, remember Mary. Remember Easter.