Posts Tagged ‘Mary Magdalene’

There are many Empty Tomb or resurrection narratives found within the Canonical Gospels, never mind the ones in the pseudepigraph (apocrypha-gnostic—the ones Constantine’s Scholars did not want). There is scenes we are familiar with of Doubting St. Thomas putting his fingers in Brother Jesus’ wounds; talking with disciples on the road; eating fish with them.


The oldest text ending we have was what is believed by tradition to originally been recited to John Mark (his folks owned the Upper Room, yeah that one, he was there at the arrest and ran away naked, and he journeyed a bit with Paul) by Peter (the one that Jesus called Satan in one moment, and in another was being called the foundation stone of the Christianities, and Brother Jesus entrusting him with the keys if you will).

This was the original “ending-beginning” (original Sonrise):

 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could go and anoint Jesus’ dead body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. (And it was a very large stone!) Going into the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right side; and they were startled. But he said to them, “Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.[a] He has been raised. He isn’t here. Look, here’s the place where they laid him. Go, tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” Overcome with terror and dread, they fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

-Mark 16:1-8 (Common English Bible)

Fear? Seems an apt human response to finding your friend’s body missing. Even with the message, these women had heard the rumblings of the authorities, or of other factions on what to do with the body to break the back of the movement.

Yet the message went to three strong women. It was the true community message time. In ancient world customs took 2 women to equal one man in testimony. Yet here you had a Trinity. Much like a mirror reflection of the Trinity of God (Creator), Jesus (master teacher/way shower) and the promised Holy Spirit (community empowerer). The women were Mary, Mother of James (who was Jesus’ brother)—the co-creator of the life of Jesus; Salome (Herod’s niece who was manipulated in killing John, reborn within the movement, a new child mentored by the women); and Mary Magdalene (once written off as a sex worker in a derogatory manner, now history showing that she was the major sustainer of the community, through her monies keeping things going, and very possibly the wife of Brother Jesus).

An earthly feminist trinity receiving the truth. That even the plans of evil, power, Empire and Religious Controllers were undone. They had heard the message (the Gospel proclaimed of the new Kingdom to come) and they had seen the signs…yet in the midst of the reality. Truly having their society’s meta-narrative shattered, the caste system of religion, economics and colonialism blown away…the fear of change gripped them and they rolled through it as they ran.

Who would do any different in the midst of such drastic change?

With each change in life no matter how minuscule, our emotional intelligence goes through the journey of grief. That is what this group was going through, later accounts tried to alleviate that understanding. This earliest account allows you to enter into it.

Not only enter into it, but after the fear rolls through and you are left with the acknowledgement of what just happened.

Flowing into that moment of new reality. That moment when one realizes nothing can stop radical love. Nobody can stop true belonging. No matter how much “power they have”. For all the powers of the known world attempted to and looked as if they had succeeded in silencing the peasant labourer from Nazareth…and the Holy Mystery and a big Nu-Uh for them as the sun rose on a Sunday.

They may have run in fear…

But what came next is how each of them, and cascading into each member continued to write their own Gospel story.

Empires and religious controllers to come may have tried to set and seal the Christian Testament, but they too missed the moment of fear of the women. For it was in that moment of fear, that they knew the story was no longer about the life lived of Brother Jesus. It was now about the lives living the way of radical love of Brother Jesus and the transformed world to come.

It was now their Gospel. Their political proclamation of radical love and belonging.

It was their answer to the question, who is my Neighbour?

This Easter Sunday, as the sun rose, and you were confronted with the man in white telling you the tomb was empty…where is your fear taking you?

            What is your Gospel? Your political proclamation of radical love and belonging?

            What is your answer to the question, who is my neighbour?


Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after re...

Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene after resurrection, Alexander Ivanov, 1835 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revelation is an amazing encouragement to 7 churches under persecution of the Empire (Satan/beast), most notably the Anti-Christ (Emperor). We have had an eventful fall dissecting, discussing and experiencing this letter collection in the Rainbow Chapel. What follows is the last 4 chapters with my thoughts, please feel free to comment with your own.

Revelation 19-22

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Celebration in Heaven

19 After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying:

Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God,
because His judgments are true[a] and righteous,
because He has judged the notorious prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality;
and He has avenged the blood of His slaves
that was on her hands.

A second time they said:

Her smoke ascends forever and ever!

Then the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying:

The four living creatures are the Evangelists, could the 24 elders be the two witnesses of each tribe of Israel?

Amen! Hallelujah!

A voice came from the throne, saying:

Praise our God,
all His slaves, who fear Him,
both small and great!

Are we truly slaves of God? By being a slave does it mean that predestination is true? We have no free will and control? How can this ideal of text be abused, becoming a sinful scripture to damage others, instead of being a source of encouragement. Simply put this image could be encouraging because it moves one from outside society where a Christian would be during these persecutions to belonging to someone, and in this case the creator of all that is.

Marriage of the Lamb Announced

Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying:

Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty,
has begun to reign!
Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has prepared herself.
She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.

Intriguing allusion here. Is this a show that the early church saw Mary as the Wife of God, not just the Mother of Christ? Or is it a commentary that would be familiar upon the early church that Jesus had a wife? Not just the metaphor of the church as his wife, but a physical wife that could lend itself to the San Greal (Holy Grail) being not the cup of the Last Supper, but the bloodline of Christ through marriage into Mary Magdalene?

For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he[b] said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about[c] Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”[d]

The spirit of prophecy is not about future events, it is the trajectory of building the loving and just world of God’s design rather than the selfish world that destroys Her children.

The Rider on a White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns[e] were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13 He wore a robe stained with blood,[f] and His name is the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp[g] sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd[h] them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh:



War imagery of the ascended Christ bursting back into history, much reminiscent of what ancient Israel was expecting in a Messiah, that being more of a Macabbean warrior king, not a peacemaker of inclusion.  So why is this image here and now?

The Beast and His Armies Defeated

17 Then I saw an angel standing on[i] the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying high overhead, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.”

Is this literal cannibalism? No, think of the allegory or imagery needed to understand that God is superior to all. In earlier chapters the Exodus story was alluded to, especially the plagues, and here what is alluded to is the battles of claiming the Promised Land.

19 Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. 20 But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed the signs in his presence. He deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image with these signs. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

From the claiming of the Promised Land, into the spirit of prophecy when ignored too ancient Israel into exile, and within exile where those thought it would be easier to side with the conquerors that stay true, and in the process lost their identity.  A warning to the churches undergoing persecution that if they choose to turn back to the Empire they will simply vanish… as the 10 tribes that never returned from Exile did.

Satan Bound

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan,[j] and bound him for 1,000 years. He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time.

Satan, not the fallen angel first vanquished by St. Michael The Archangel in the war of Heaven, or the spiritual war that was decided at the cross… rather the Emperor of Rome, a satan that is bound because when push comes to shove, same as Pharaoh, Babylon, Assyria, Canann before, God is in control and the simple perversity has no true control.

The Saints Reign with the Messiah

Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the people[k] who had been beheaded[l] because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God’s word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1,000 years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power[m] over them, but they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.

Staying faithful. Building the reign of God slowly means that it takes root, as Jesus reminds us in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus reminds us to turn to God because the Reign is almost here, but it is us that makes it reality and overthrows the oppressor.

Satanic Rebellion Crushed

When the 1,000 years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. They came up over the surface of the earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from heaven[n] and consumed them. 10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Anti-Christs, satans will always rise up, but as we continually work to make the world better will it not matter in the end? In the end, there will be a choice to build a just global society or simply one of the strongest (wealthiest) survive.

The Great White Throne Judgment

11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.

13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all[o] were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.[p] 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The New Creation

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:[q]

Look! God’s dwelling[r] is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.[s]
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things[t] have passed away.

Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words[u] are faithful and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life. The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. But the cowards, unbelievers,[v] vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

Then one of the seven angels, who had held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 He then carried me away in the Spirit[w] to a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a very precious stone, like a jasper stone, bright as crystal. 12 The city had a massive high wall, with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates; the names of the 12 tribes of Israel’s sons were inscribed on the gates. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 The city wall had 12 foundations, and the 12 names of the Lamb’s 12 apostles were on the foundations.

15 The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out in a square; its length and width are the same. He measured the city with the rod at 12,000 stadia.[x] Its length, width, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall, 144 cubits according to human measurement, which the angel used. 18 The building material of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold like clear glass.

19 The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone:

the first foundation jasper,
the second sapphire,
the third chalcedony,
the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth sardonyx,
the sixth carnelian,
the seventh chrysolite,
the eighth beryl,
the ninth topaz,
the tenth chrysoprase,
the eleventh jacinth,
the twelfth amethyst.

21 The 12 gates are 12 pearls; each individual gate was made of a single pearl. The broad street[y] of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 I did not see a sanctuary in it, because the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its sanctuary. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations[z] will walk in its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.[aa] 25 Each day its gates will never close because it will never be night there. 26 They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.[ab] 27 Nothing profane will ever enter it: no one who does what is vile or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

What has preceded is simply the reality of what happens when we truly live the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) reflect on it: (yes there are many versions here)

The Source of Life

22 Then he showed me the river[ac] of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life[ad] was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city,[ae] and His slaves will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

The Time Is Near

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets,[af] has sent His angel to show His slaves what must quickly take place.”[ag]

“Look, I am coming quickly! The one who keeps the prophetic words of this book is blessed.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers the prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 He also said to me, “Don’t seal the prophetic words of this book, because the time is near. 11 Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy go on being made filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; and let the holy go on being made holy.”

12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes,[ah] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you[ai] for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.”

17 Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.

18 I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. 19 And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.

20 He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus[aj] be with all the saints.[ak] Amen.[al]

So be it… so what is the encouragement for the church today? What would you write to the local community churches within your area to step up and create the world God has called us to create?


  1. Revelation 19:2 Valid; Jn 8:16; 19:35
  2. Revelation 19:9 Probably an angel; Rv 17:1; 22:8-9
  3. Revelation 19:10 Or to
  4. Revelation 19:10 Or the Spirit
  5. Revelation 19:12 Or diadems
  6. Revelation 19:13 Or a robe dipped in
  7. Revelation 19:15 Other mss add double-edged
  8. Revelation 19:15 Or rule
  9. Revelation 19:17 Or in
  10. Revelation 20:2 Other mss add who deceives the whole world
  11. Revelation 20:4 Lit souls
  12. Revelation 20:4 All who had given their lives for their faith in Christ
  13. Revelation 20:6 Or authority
  14. Revelation 20:9 Other mss add from God
  15. Revelation 20:13 Lit each
  16. Revelation 20:14 Other mss omit the lake of fire
  17. Revelation 21:3 Other mss read from heaven
  18. Revelation 21:3 Or tent, or tabernacle
  19. Revelation 21:3 Other mss omit and be their God
  20. Revelation 21:4 Or the first things
  21. Revelation 21:5 Other mss add of God
  22. Revelation 21:8 Other mss add the sinful
  23. Revelation 21:10 Or in spirit
  24. Revelation 21:16 A stadion (sg) = about 600 feet; 12,000 stadia = 1,400 miles.
  25. Revelation 21:21 Or The public square
  26. Revelation 21:24 Other mss add of those who are saved
  27. Revelation 21:24 Other mss read will bring to Him the nations’ glory and honor
  28. Revelation 21:26 Other mss add in order that they might go in
  29. Revelation 22:1 Other mss read pure river
  30. Revelation 22:2 Or was a tree of life, or was a tree that gives life
  31. Revelation 22:3 Lit in it
  32. Revelation 22:6 Other mss read God of the holy prophets
  33. Revelation 22:6 Or soon
  34. Revelation 22:14 Other mss read who keep His commands
  35. Revelation 22:16 In Gk, you is pl
  36. Revelation 22:21 Other mss add Christ
  37. Revelation 22:21 Other mss omit the saints

Revelation 22:21 Other mss omit Amen.


The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We ended with his arrest and far too many believe that is when Jesus’ light went out. (The candle centre of table relit) but rather it was when his light shined the brightest of his ministry.  The men fled, but the women stayed close journeying with him. His best friend, Mary Magdalene, and his Mummy were with him bearing witness to the horror that was to come.

Remember though, on Sunday, we win. And who did Jesus talk to when he was scared? His Daddy, and that brought him what?

Peace—We sing together the ending song from our time at Unity Church, Let there be Peace on Earth.

The Story is shared from the naked youth (John Mark) fleeing the garden, to Peter’s statement of Jesus not being his friend, to the brutallity and the lies of all levels of power, money and religion…to his eventual death on the cross…when the Gospel of Mark reads he breathed his last (The candle is blown out).

We stay with the story for Mary, Mummy & Salome with other women witnessed as Joseph of Arimethea buried him in a tomb, and sealed it.

The women know the secret even in this dark time, that “God is bigger than the bogey man” (our family sings one of our favourite Veggie Tales songs).

Princess JLAAR: Daddy who is Salome?

Daddy: Herod’s step daughter that Jesus saved from a bad situation (for the adult readers, she is the daughter that Herod sex trafficked, raped, and killed John the Baptist to cover it all up).

The story doesn’t end there, for we await the joy of Sunday, no, the story brings us back to the Upper Room where the friends have gathered, a place that I could see Mary or Mummy reminding them of the Meal of Friends, sharing the Bread of Life (Grace Said by Princess JLAAR) and the Cup of Promise (Grace said by Preacher_boi).

And the children lead us singing Peace Like a River with actions.

We join hands and pray the Lord’s Prayer together (old Book of Common Prayer version, cause we roll retro like that).

Closing Prayer: God we thank you for this time of silence, as we await the true joy and love coming on Sunday.  For it is on Sunday that you show the world what our lives are truly about, as your beloved and blessed children when you gave us the world when we left the Garden.  It is not a story of money, wants or power, it is a story of love, how we are to love one another.  Amen.