Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 13, 2012

16. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene & the Resurrection

Mary Magdalene Encounters Jesus Outside His Empty Tomb

Our virtual hike through Galilee has reached Magdala on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, about 4 miles north of Tiberias. Magdala was a prosperous fishing town of 30,000 to 40,000 in Jesus’ day.

Magdala’s most famous personage is Mary Magdalene, a faithful follower of Jesus throughout His earthly ministry. She was at the foot of the cross, witnessed His burial, and was the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection. This is the third of a series of three blog posts on Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene, Witness to the Resurrection
Mary Magdalene saw Jesus crucified (Mat 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25), and she saw Him buried (Mat 27:61; Mark 15:47).

This experience specially qualified Mary Magdalene for her subsequent role as a primary witness to the Resurrection. For Mary knew, from first-hand experience, that Jesus had been killed. She knew that He was physically dead.

Mary Magdalene’s story strengthens the credibility of the Gospels via the “Embarrassment Factor.” The Gospel writers included information that was embarrassing to the Apostles and did not present them in a good light. This kind of information is unlikely to have been included if the Gospel writers had fabricated the accounts. Its inclusion signals the veracity of the accounts.

  1. And they all left Him and fled. (Mark 14:50)
    The disciples fled when Jesus was arrested, and most of them were absent throughout His trials and Crucifixion for fear of the Jews. Mary Magdalene put them to shame, as she was present at the cross and grave. (Matt 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25; Matt 27:61; Mark 15:47)
  2. Mary Magdalene and several other women returned to the grave early Sunday morning to anoint His body with spices. Mary Magdalene arrived while it was still dark. None of the men dared to accompany them. (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:1)
  3. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Jesus after His Resurrection, and He commissioned her to deliver a message to the Apostles (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18; Matt 28:1-10). This is a significant mark of historical truth in the Gospel accounts in a day when the testimony of women was discounted – Jewish law didn’t accept testimony from women. Fabricators would not have made women to be the first witnesses.
  4. When Mary Magdalene reported the Resurrection news to the Apostles, they refused to believe her.
    And when they heard that He was alive, and had been seen by her [Mary Magdalene], they refused to believe it. (Mark 16:11)
    And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. (Luke 24:11)
    This is another example of an apostolic embarrassment. But it also shows that the apostles were in a very skeptical, doubtful state; they were not easily persuaded or convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead. Some disciples doubted even after seeing Him on the mountain in Galilee (Matt 28:17). This makes their subsequent testimony to the Resurrection all the more significant and believable.

Mary Magdalene was a reliable and faithful witness to the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago.

Read the prequels in this 3-part subseries on Mary Magdalene:
14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene
15. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Lady or Tramp?

Soli Deo Gloria.

The Hike the Bible series is currently covering points of interest along two hiking trails through Galilee, the 40-mile Jesus Trail and the 39-mile Gospel Trail. These two trails re-create possible routes Jesus likely traversed during His sojourns in Galilee.

This is the sixteenth installment in the Hike the Bible series reviewing major hiking trails in the Lands of the Bible.
Read the prequels:
1. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail (with video)
2. Hike the Bible – Gospel Trail (with video)
3. Hike the Bible – Jesus Trail vs. Gospel Trail
4. Hike the Bible – Nazareth
5. Hike the Bible – Zippori
6. Hike the Bible – Mash’had
7. Hike the Bible – Cana (with video)
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
10. Hike the Bible – Horns of Hattin
11. Hike the Bible – Sermon on the Mount
12. Hike the Bible – Arbel Cliffs
13. Hike the Bible – Magdala (with video)
14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene
15. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Lady or Tramp?

Read the sequel:
17. Hike the Bible – Sea of Galilee

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 1:3)
Wednesday June 13, 2012 A.D.

Read my May 2012 newspaper column:
Dragons

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

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