Jesus Reversed the Fall at Easter

Something hit me the other day as I was reading the end of John’s Gospel. It was one of those things that smacked me between the eyes, and it has to do with God’s heart toward women.

As you may recall from the Genesis story, Eve was created because “It was not good for man to be alone.” Eve is the crown of creation. After God creates Eve, the Bible records God saying that his work was “very good.” So it can be said that God has a special place in his heart for women, as she is the crown of his creation. God tells Adam and Eve both that they have complete freedom to eat from any tree, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the story goes that Satan comes to tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden. For some reason, Eve disobeys God and believes Satan when he says, “you will not surely die.” Eve betrays God, and in her disobedience (along with Adam, who also took a bite while he was standing right there), is cast out of the garden, along with her husband Adam, never to return. Can you imagine the disappointment God felt when this happened?

Fast forward to the time of Jesus.

Jesus has been buried in the tomb. It is Easter Sunday, and in John 20:10-18, it says that the “Disciples went back to their homes, but Mary (Magdalene) stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been…” They asked her why she was crying, and Mary tells the angels that “They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turns back around and sees Jesus standing there…but she did not realize that it was Jesus (v14).

Jesus says, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” She mistakes Jesus for the gardener and her confusion remains until Jesus calls her by name…”Mary.” She REJOICES and says, “Teacher!” Can you imagine Mary’s total excitement here? Wow.

Then Jesus says to Mary, “Do not hold me yet, for I haven’t returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

V18…”Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I HAVE SEEN THE LORD!!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

And this is the part that nailed me:

Mary Magdalene did as Jesus (God) instructed her to do. And where did all this happen? In a garden. This is in effect the direct opposite of what happened in the Garden of Eden. Eve didn’t choose God. Mary Magdalene did. Instead of everlasting death, we now have everlasting Life. While Satan came and tempted God’s crowning creation (Eve), God chooses a woman to go and tell the men that Jesus is alive. If this isn’t a story of redemption, I don’t know what is. Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus cast 7 demons out (Luke 8:2), is the one who chooses to obey the Living God and run and tell the disciples.

If this isn’t the Fall of Man being reversed, I’d like to know what is.

That God uses a woman to tell men the Good News is something worth noting. Why didn’t God choose a man to be the first witness of the resurrected Jesus? It is because our God is a God of restoration. He is the healer of broken hearts. He sets the captives free. He gives sight to the blind. He comes and finds what was lost.

Can you imagine the Joy God experienced in his heart when Mary followed through and obeyed Jesus’ wish to “Go and tell my brothers…” I mean, Mary could’ve thought about it, got distracted by something else on her way back to the disciples, decided not to follow through with it…all that. But no, she does what Jesus asked her to do: She brings life and joy to the men.

But of course, this was God’s original intent for Women. To bring life to Men (“It is not good for man to be alone”). In Jesus we have the restoration of our humanity, both for men and for women.

Thank you Jesus, for resurrecting our lives, our love, and our hope.

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