"He's gone!" Mary screamed. "They've taken away the body! First, they arrested Him and savagely beat Him. Then they condemned and executed Him as a common criminal. Now they won't even allow Him a decent burial! Is there no end to this nightmare?"
Mary Magdalene is one of the most celebrated disciples of the entire New Testament. In a culture where women were considered ignorant, second-class citizens, and wholly unreliable as legal witnesses, it is somewhat puzzling God would grant such prominence to a woman like Mary of Magdala. Yet from the pages of scripture she emerges as one of the most beautiful and faithful characters of the entire Bible. Scripture mentions her by name fourteen times, eight of which list her even before Mary, the mother of Jesus. In fact, Mary Magdalene appears in the canonical gospels more than any other female disciple. No other woman is portrayed with more devotion to Jesus and with good reason.
Mary spent much of her early life as a prisoner of Satan. Physically possessed and controlled by seven demons, she was mercilessly tormented day and night. But the time came when those same evil spirits of darkness encountered the One who had come into the world to destroy the works of their master. And by the power of the Incarnate Living God, those servants of Satan were driven out of Mary forever. Freed from hell's bondage, Mary made a decision many others had already made. Forsaking all, she would love and serve her Deliverer until the day she died.
During the following three years of Jesus earthly ministry Mary never left His side. In every scriptural mention she is portrayed as a close friend of Christ and a leader among His female disciples. Surrounding the events of the resurrection of Jesus, all four gospels place Mary Magdalene as the most prominent character. For her unwavering devotion, Mary was given the most honorable and joyful commission of all time: "Go quickly and tell the disciples He has risen!" Following her obedience, Mary of Magdala gained a position of notoriety throughout the early church as the first person to have seen the risen Lord. Hers is indeed a life worth exploring.
"Freed to Testify - A Biblical Biography of Mary Magdalene" is Volume II in the Gripped for Glory series. Complete with biblical references, exciting dialogue, historical data, and questions for personal application, "Freed to Testify" is a great resource for bible study groups or personal spiritual growth.