Mark 16:9, Now when Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.
Jesus and Mary Magdalene were friends. She was part of Jesus’ inner circle, often mentioned along with the Twelve. While we don’t know much about her backstory, we do know that she had been demon-possessed and that Jesus had set her free. While others may have received their healing and moved on, Mary lingered. She chose to stay close and became a constant presence in Christ’s life.
While others were afraid to associate with Jesus, Mary was there as He made His way through the towns, teaching and healing (Luke 8:1-2). When others betrayed Him and turned away. Mary stood by the cross as Jesus suffered (Matthew 27:56). Others returned to their homes after Jesus’ death, but Mary was an eyewitness to Jesus’ burial (Mark 15:47). And when His body was gone, she begged the man she thought to be the gardener to tell her where Jesus’ body had been taken. Why? Because she was willing to go and get it back (John 20:15)! And, because of her absolute devotion to Christ, she was in a position to be the first to see Him risen from the grave (Mark 16:9)!
That is devotion.
Let’s be that kind of friend. We can be the ones who stay when others walk away. We can be present in the midst of people’s joy and pain. And then, we can be the ones to witness God raising them from the ashes and using it all for His glory.