Isaiah 52:7a How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news
The Bible recounts the story of a female runner who was responsible for delivering news that would serve as the start of an epic running race, a race between two men. The race began very early in the morning while it was still dark. The starter on this day, was an unlikely character; she was a woman named Mary Magdalene. And rather than standing on a pedestal ready to fire a starter pistol, Mary ran to the starting line shouting. On this day, it would be the starter, not the runners, who would make the headlines.
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. (John 20: 1-4)
People have made assumptions about this lady Mary Magdalene. Some presume that she was the “woman in the city who was a sinner” (Luke 7:36-39), more specifically that she was a prostitute; or she was the woman whom Jesus saved from stoning after she was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). However, there is no scriptural proof for these assumptions. What we do know for certain about Mary Magdalene is that Jesus cast seven demons from her and she thereafter became one of his followers (Luke 8:2); that she witnessed the crucifixion (John 19:25); she was the first to see Jesus was missing from the tomb (John 20:2); she was the first to talk to Jesus and recognize him after his resurrection (John 20:15-16); and she was the first to share this good news to the other disciples (John 20:18).
In the Old Testament Isaiah prophesies concerning the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and more importantly foreshadows the salvation that Christ has for us. Through Isaiah, God says: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7). In the New Testament, Paul quotes this same scripture when referring to evangelism. He asks the questions: 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom 10: 14-15).
Jesus’ birth, his life, his crucifixion, and his resurrection are the greatest news ever delivered in the history of mankind. Jesus died on the cross for you and me because we are sinners (Romans 3:23) and are separated from God, BUT despite that we can have eternal life in heaven with him (Romans 6:23). Best of all we don’t have to spend our lives striving to save ourselves because we are saved by God’s grace not our own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We simply must accept this beautiful gift (Romans 10:9-10). Mary was the first to break this Good News, and the disciples and the Apostle Paul offered up their lives to share this news with others. It is the greatest news ever delivered. Have you accepted this Good News for yourself? Are you now one who shares this Good News with others? If not, what’s stopping you?