2/15 Mark 16:9

9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.

If you were going to make up a story about a religious hero who rose from the dead, wouldn't it be more believable to have him appear to his lead disciple who was waiting at the grave because he had such faith in his leader? That is about the opposite of what happened on that Resurrection morning. The disciples were hiding behind locked doors. Jesus appeared to a woman of questionable past.

When she and others told the disciples that Jesus had risen, they did not believe them (Mark 16:11). That must have been difficult for the disciples to include in their record of events, but like all their other failures, they had to write the truth. Eyewitnesses of the events were still living when they wrote. And thank God they did include their failures.

Jesus had once said that the one who is forgiven of much loves much (Luke 7:47). It was the love of Jesus that first drew Mary Magdalene to Him. Your past is past in His eyes. Now it is about the depth of your love for Him. And even though the disciples doubted the promise of resurrection had come to pass, they loved Jesus. Love drew Jesus to appear to them, too. Isn't it great to know that though Jesus will rebuke our doubts (Mark 16:14), He is still drawn to our love for Him? Some doubted what they were seeing even at one of the appearances of Jesus, and yet He commissioned them all to spread the gospel around the world (Matthew 28:17-20).

Consider: Praise God! In Christ our past is forgotten, our present is forgiven, and love reigns supreme (1 Corinthians 13:13).