Looking at the culture of the 1st century, it’s astounding that Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to be the first person to see him after his resurrection. I enjoyed this Easter sermon by Tim Keller about the Resurrection and Mary Magdalene’s appearance.
Here’s that section, starting at 18:17:
Maybe the most telling thing about this passage that tells us that Jesus Christ saves by grace—which is the message of the Bible, God saves by grace—it’s the fact that he chooses her to be the very first messenger to the world. She’s the first person in history, to have met the risen Christ and to be told, “Go and tell everyone else.”
Now do you know who Mary Magdalene was? Luke 8:2-3 tells us, she had seven demons cast out of her. Whatever you think about that, just remember, if you go to Mark chapter five, you have a picture of a demoniac. What’s a demoniac? These were people who wandered around half naked, talking to themselves, hearing voices, crying out, social outcasts, usually basically homeless.
And Jesus Christ uses a woman, not a man, a reformed mental patient (at least). Not a pillar of the community. And says, “You are my messenger.”
How much more vivid could Jesus Christ be? How much more powerful could the message be? That Jesus is saying, ‘I do not save on the basis of pedigree, or on moral attainment, or on the basis of record. I save you, not by your work—but by My work, I don’t save people who think they’re strong. I save people who know that they’re weak.
Behold the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.Tim Keller