John 20:15 (ESV)   Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 

  • Was Mary Magdalene unspiritual to think Jesus was the gardener? 

Jesus was in a garden. He didn’t look like himself. 

  • He was not shining with resurrection glory. 
  • His beard was plucked out by the Roman soldiers who tormented him. 

Jesus was scarred and battered and perhaps not easily recognisable. 

We must not blame Mary Magdalene for this mistaken identity. She was closer to Jesus than any of the apostles at this time. 

  • Mary Magdalene was chosen for the highest possible privilege, to be the first witness of the resurrection. 

According to Josephus, women were not accepted as witnesses in Jewish court cases. 

  • I have found no evidence that this disqualification of women’s rights was authorised by God in Scripture but it is clear that the testimony of a woman did not carry the same weight as that of a man in the ancient world and the Jews were no exception.

When Jesus died on the cross, the innocent son of God suffered the ultimate injustice. With his unjust death, Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins. 

The only completely innocent human being in history died a cruel death, so that every guilty man and woman could be set free from the just condemnation of God.

  •  When Jesus died a cruel and unjust death, He set about correcting all the curses and injustices that had followed like a plague on humanity after the fall of Adam and Eve in that first garden.

The first injustice was prophesied by God Himself when He declared that women after Eve would desire the love of their husbands but that their husbands would rule over them harshly.

Ge 3:16 (ESV)  To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 

Not only have billions of husbands ruled like tyrants over their wives but men in general have treated women like second class human beings. 

  • The Jews in Bible days were also guilty of this but a quick look at church history and contemporary church life will tell you that men still dominate women in a way that God did not intend.

When Jesus returned from the grave, His first act was to restore full equality and dignity to women.

Mary Magdalene was divinely appointed to be the first witness of the resurrection, not Peter or John and not Mary the mother of Jesus. 

Mary Madgalene thought Jesus was the gardener. The first gardener was Adam and Paul said Jesus was the LAST ADAM. 

1Corinthians 15:45 (NKJV)  And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV)  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 

  • Adam was the first man and the father of all humanity. He was without sin before he yielded to temptation. 
  • Jesus came as the second sinless man and He resisted every temptation. 
    • Jesus came to restore men, women and children to the glorious innocence and justice of the original creation, to establish a new humanity where women and men would be completely equal and free to fulfil their potential.

When Mary Magdalene and her friends told the Apostles of the new church that Jesus was alive, the men did not believe the women. 

  • Then Jesus appeared to them and rebuked them for not believing the women. 
  • For two thousand years men have continued to punish women for the disobedience of Eve. 
  • Many ordained priests and pastors have exalted themselves above church members. 

It is time to repent.

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