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  • Eric Kampmann

They Did Not Believe

When Jesus rose early the first day of the week,

he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of

whom he had driven seven demons. She went

and told those who had been with him and who

were mourning and weeping. When they heard

that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him,

they did not believe it.

—Mark 16:9-11

What we call history are events in time that are witnessed or recorded through direct observation, documents, and physical evidence. Here we have an account of the empty tomb that is credible, ironically enough, because of the person who testified. To those living in the first century, Mary Magdalene was anything but an ideal witness. If the account were made up, then the last person to chose as a witness was a woman with a questionable past. And yet Mark forges ahead and reports that Mary Magdalene was the first person to encounter the risen Lord.

If Mark was trying to convince people that a supernatural event had occurred when it really hadn’t, he might have used a different witness. The fact that Mark does not lends credibility to the story of the risen Lord; it does not detract from it.

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