9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Thoughts: Jesus' resurrection confirms his teachings not only about love and forgiveness, but also about who he was- the messiah- and the son (or essence) of God. Most scholars say that the ending of Mark (16:9-20) was not with the original manuscript, but was added very early on (as it was quoted early by other writers writers). His appearances affirmed that the tomb was not just empty because something happened to the body, but what the angel said of his resurrection was correct. This passage affirms Mary Magdalene as the first to see him. It affirms the two who saw him on the way to Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35). Then Jesus appeared the disciples. Jesus is not another dead philosopher, but a living Lord.
Prayer: Lord, strengthen me with the power of your resurrection this day. May my faith in you energize and empower me today to follow you.
John Calvin abridged: Mark names Mary Magdalene alone, because she was the first to see the risen Christ, but her companions also saw him in their time and way. This is an astonishing instance of goodness, that Christ should show his heavenly glory first to a wretched woman who had been possessed by seven devils (Lk. 8:2). By this example Christ shows how generously he desires to continue the growth in grace in us, and to destroy the pride of the flesh.