|Yale Center for British Art
The Magdalene at the Sepulchre|
Mary Magdalene's initial response to Jesus was not a temporary thing. She continued to follow with him as he conducted his ministry. She witnessed his trial, crucifixion and burial, but her faith was not shaken by the events Jesus experienced at the hands of 'rulers of the darkness of this world.'
When Mary visited the tomb of Jesus on the third day after his burial she encountered a man whom she suspected was the gardener. But she soon realized that it was Jesus in his Spiritual Body.
Blake has pictured the risen Christ within the tomb with Mary Magdalene who was able to recognize the transformation which Jesus had undergone. Mary Magdalene had learned to see through the physical to the spiritual. She could perceive the risen Christ because Christ in Jesus had become perceptible to her through faith. Blake would have us, like Mary Magdalene, able to see through the sensual world to the activating force which generates it. The individual puts on his Spiritual Body in order to perceive the Spirit.
 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
First Corinthians 15
 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Jerusalem, Plate 61, (E 212) "Man in the Resurrection changes his Sexual Garments at will Every Harlot was once a Virgin: every Criminal an Infant Love! PLATE 62 Repose on me till the morning of the Grave. I am thy life. Jerusalem replied. I am an outcast: Albion is dead! I am left to the trampling foot & the spurning heel! A Harlot I am calld. I am sold from street to street! I am defaced with blows & with the dirt of the Prison! And wilt thou become my Husband O my Lord & Saviour? Shall Vala bring thee forth! shall the Chaste be ashamed also? I see the Maternal Line, I behold the Seed of the Woman! Cainah, & Ada & Zillah & Naamah Wife of Noah. Shuahs daughter & Tamar & Rahab the Canaanites: Ruth the Moabite & Bathsheba of the daughters of Heth Naamah the Ammonite, Zibeah the Philistine, & Mary These are the Daughters of Vala, Mother of the Body of death But I thy Magdalen behold thy Spiritual Risen Body Shall Albion arise? I know he shall arise at the Last Day! I know that in my flesh I shall see God: but Emanations Are weak. they know not whence they are, nor whither tend. Jesus replied. I am the Resurrection & the Life. I Die & pass the limits of possibility, as it appears To individual perception. Luvah must be Created And Vala; for I cannot leave them in the gnawing Grave. But will prepare a way for my banished-ones to return Come now with me into the villages. walk thro all the cities. Tho thou art taken to prison & judgment, starved in the streets I will command the cloud to give thee food & the hard rock To flow with milk & wine, tho thou seest me not a season Even a long season & a hard journey & a howling wilderness! Tho Valas cloud hide thee & Luvahs fires follow thee! Only believe & trust in me, Lo. I am always with thee! So spoke the Lamb of God"