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Did Mary Magdalene Raise Jesus from the Dead?

Game of Thrones seems to think so anyway… SPOILER ALERT!

A friend of mine who is a marketing guru recently told me that the reason I’m not “famous” is because my material isn’t controversial enough. Well…here’s some controversy for you. (If you haven’t yet watched Season 6, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones, you might want to skip this blog).

In this weekend’s episode of Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin reveals how Mary Magdalene raised Jesus from the dead. Actually, it was the “Red Lady” Melisandre who raised Jon Snow from the dead (through prayer and “laying on of hands” – Reiki anyone!?). Let me explain what this has to do with Jesus and Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

The parallels between Game of Thrones and the Jesus story are many and Jon Snow is the obvious “Christ” in George R.R. Martin’s universe (in case you missed this, watch the final episode of Season 5 – Jon is Jesus, right down to the betrayal and the crucifixion – only here Jon is stabbed (six times = the five wounds of Christ plus the crown of thorns), and laid beneath a cross with the word “Traitor” (instead of INRI) over his head!

From the beginning of the series, I have wondered if Melisandre would play the role of the Magdalene, she has the red robes and scarlet hair most often associated with the Magdalene. Repeatedly, however, I have cast her aside as unworthy of the role of the Magdalene, or grown frustrated over the way in which Melisandre plays the role of a sorcerer, working with dark magic, something I did not want to be associated with the Magdalene for obvious reasons! Well, my curiosity has now been satisfied. In raising Jon Snow from the dead, Melisandre is the Magdalene – and more powerfully so than anyone else in the history of scholarship or literature has been willing to admit!


The idea that Mary Magdalene played some role in the resurrection of Jesus is not new to me. In fact, if you spend enough time with the Magdalene literature (scholarly and otherwise), and scripture in general, it is the logical conclusion. Mary was the only disciple (apostle) mentioned who completed Jesus’ full course of initiation – “healed of seven demons”. She was the one who anointed Jesus for his death. She was the one to whom Jesus appeared at the tomb, after he had been raised from the dead. And, she was the one Jesus sent to tell the others. Non-canonical scripture tells us more about Mary, even than this. She was likely Jesus’ closest companion and was perhaps intimate with him, maybe even his wife. Jesus appeared to her after his resurrection and gave her “secret teachings” – teaching he did not share with the other disciples. When Mary tried to share these teachings with the other disciples, they did not believe her.

Assuming this is our personal interpretation of the Magdalene literature, how does this tell us that SHE raised Jesus from the dead? It doesn’t, but it rights the wrongs that had been done to Mary Magdalene through HIStory while casting her in the correct role as priestess, equal perhaps with Jesus. Built upon this foundation, it is easy to see how Mary Magdalene was the likely candidate to facilitate Jesus’ resurrection, and here is why:

If you read scripture from cover to cover, not once did God initiate a miracle on God’s own. Every single time (with the possible exception of the creation), God needed help – specifically, human help. Abraham had to have intercourse with Sarah for her to become pregnant with Isaac. Noah had to build the ark so that they could survive the flood. Moses had to deliver the message of freedom to the Hebrews, and he had to use his staff to initiate the plagues, the parting of the Reed Sea, and the miracles in the desert (manna, quail, water). God sent an “angel” to Mary and Mary had to agree to birth Jesus into the world. And Jesus himself had to be present, had to be God’s vehicle for every single miracle he facilitated – most especially the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.


On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John Chapter 11)

The White Spring in Glastonbury, England

In every single scriptural account of a miracle being performed, God needed help – specifically human help. The raising of Lazarus is no different. How could it be then, that Jesus was raised from the dead without human intervention? And who else, but Mary Magdalene, would be ready, worthy and able to do it? Did you notice the part of the story when Jesus specifically asks for Mary, and how in the asking he is specifically referred to as “Teacher?” For what other reason, in his role of Teacher, would Jesus have to call for Mary except to show her how it is done so that when it is his time, she can bring him forth from the dead in the same way that he brought Lazarus forth from the tomb?

Now, I’m not saying you have to agree with me. I can’t even be certain myself. I wasn’t there to see Jesus raised from the dead (neither were any of the gospel writers, for that matter!). But, this is an interesting question and one worth pondering – Did Mary Magdalene raise Jesus from the dead? If she did, she deserves WAY more credit than what we have been giving her for these past 2000 years…more credit even than what scholars have been willing to admit. Thank you George R.R. Martin, for being willing to go where no one else would go!

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Lauri Ann LumbyLauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS is an author, human development expert, transpersonal psychologist, spiritual director, Reiki master and priestess of the Magdalene. Learn more about Lauri at Authentic Freedom Ministries

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