The Loyalty of a Changed Life
By Heather Lynn 5 Minute Read
The sun was beginning to peek above the hills early that Sunday morning as Mary Magdalene and a few others walked to the tomb. There must have been so many things on their minds that day. However, they only spoke about who would roll the stone away so they could go inside to treat the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1-3). Surely flashbacks of all He had done for Mary entered her mind as she went to pay her respects and give Him back a little of all He had done for her. Many fell away when Jesus was persecuted and killed by His adversaries. For some it had become too difficult to follow Him in the end, but not Mary Magdalene. No, she would remain loyal to the One who had changed her life, Her Savior, Her Jesus. Mary demonstrated her faithfulness to Jesus throughout His death and resurrection. The decisions she made showed just how loyal she was to the Messiah.
Perhaps Mary thought about the miracle Christ had done in her life by driving out demons (Luke 8:1-3). He had transformed her life, and she was never the same again. Not much is known about her life before Christ, but we know that she was a broken person. When broken people meet the love of Jesus, he mends them and changes them from the inside out. Those changes led to choices. Transformed people choose Jesus time and time again because of what He’s done for them. It affects the lives of those around them. That was evident in the life of Mary Magdalene.
Perhaps she thought about the many other miracles Jesus had performed in the lives of others, too, like raising Lazarus from the dead. She must have wondered why Jesus had saved so many but didn’t save Himself and went willingly to the cross. Even after watching Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus place Jesus in the tomb, she did not return to her former life. She continued to be loyal to her dear friend (Mark 15:40-47). She could have chosen anger at God for taking Jesus, but instead, she honored Him and trusted Him even though she didn’t understand what He was doing. Mary was a friend to Jesus; she stood by him. Mary’s courage led to her faithfulness. A friend like that stands by their friends throughout all kinds of trials (terminal illnesses, family crisis, or criminal charges). Tragedy can change us if we allow it to, or we can remain steadfast like Mary.
Perhaps on the way to the tomb, Mary allowed fears to creep into her mind. Maybe she thought about the people who had betrayed or persecuted Jesus or even the guards who had arrested and put Him on the cross. Images of her sweet Jesus hanging on the tree might have flooded her mind. However, she didn’t let anything deter her, not the fear of persecution, the hopelessness of the situation, or any other excuses. She knew that being Jesus’s friend might bring ridicule or even death, yet she was not afraid of showing her devotion. For that, her faith was rewarded. Mary was among the first to see and experience the resurrected Jesus. Imagine the overwhelming love she felt as she embraced her Savior and friend once more. Her loyalty led to her reward.
In this Christian life, we have a great reward awaiting us. Our loyalty to Christ is rewarded the minute we close our eyes in this life and enter eternity. We are rewarded with a life with Him on this earth as Mary did- living, breathing and walking with Jesus. But we are also rewarded with an eternal life with Him in Heaven, worshiping around the throne. That kind of friendship is worth anything we will go through in this life.