Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)

MARY DIDN’T GO THE TOMB expecting to see her risen Lord. She went to apply ritual anointing. In the rush to bury Jesus before the Sabbath, it hadn’t been done. Mary went to the tomb to serve a dead Lord but ended up seeing a risen Savior.

The theme for this week is “free to serve,” but the reverse is also true: our service frees us. Only Jesus liberates us from our sin, but in our service to God we are freed from an inactive faith that would amount to nothing. James wrote, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do” (James 2:18). But our service for Jesus does more than prove our faith. God rewards the loyalty evidenced by our faith by letting us experience more of who He is.

Mary didn’t know Jesus had risen, but she did know He was her Lord. Though she didn’t fully understand what had happened with Jesus, she served Him anyway. So Jesus was pleased to clear up her confusion about Him. She was the first person to see the resurrected Lord!

As we serve Jesus, we mature in our faith. As we mature in our faith, we are freed from human ignorance of God more and more until the day we see Him face-to-face.

How have you been freed to know Jesus more through your service to Him?

Dave Knickerbocker is a church planter and aspiring writer from northeast Ohio.