In 2009 AD, a new hotel was to be built in Migdal, Israel, the ancient fishing village of Magdala on the northwest edge of the Sea of Galilee. Before the construction began, the remains of an ancient synagogue was discovered. There the Israel Antiquities Authority found the Magdala Stone. The carvings on this stone represent the temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. They show the temple’s columns, candlesticks, tables of shewbread, and the Holy of Holies. The stone was probably used as a place for the Torah Scroll to be laid while someone read from it. It is believed that Jesus Himself may have spoken here. “He preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils” (Mark 1:39).
Magdala was the home of Mary Magdalene. The Bible says that Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary (Luke 8:2). When she was demon possessed, her life would have been filled with torment, pain, and desperation. But Jesus healed her and delivered her from that old life. Her life became peaceful as she committed her life to Christ and became His devoted disciple. She used her resources to help fund Jesus and His disciples as they traveled around Israel ministering. She was present at Jesus’ trial; she saw Him beaten and humiliated; she stood near the cross; she went early to the tomb to anoint His body with spices; she was the first to see Him after His resurrection; and it was Mary Magdalene that Jesus sent to tell the disciples that He had risen!
The city of Magdala reminds me of the new life a person has in Christ when he becomes saved, delivered from the old life. Many people say they have been saved, but their lives have never changed. Mary of Magdala showed new life in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
New Life in Christ! Abundant and free!
What glories shine, what joys are mine,
What wondrous blessings I see!
My past with its sin, The searching and strife,
Forever gone, there’s a bright new dawn!
For in Christ I have found New Life!