Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,“Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to Me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that He had said these things to her. John 20:16--18
It was still dark when she arrives at Jesus tomb Sunday morning. She finds the stone has been rolled away and His body is gone. She runs to get Peter and John who in turn run to the tomb and find His body is gone and the linens He was wrapped in are just lying there. The men go back to their houses and Mary looks into the tomb a second time.
Her second look makes all the difference! Persistence!! She may be weeping and yet she is firm in her expectation that Jesus IS making all things New. Look again! Now she sees two angels-- one at the head and one at the foot where Jesus' Body used to lie. It is the imagery of the angels on top of the Ark Of The Covenant box!
Yet those alive angels inside the tomb hold back the New News. Angels do not tell her He Is Risen. They ask why she is weeping. Then a Voice behind her asks her why she is weeping too. Turning to look at the One behind her she does not recognize Him yet; not until He speaks her name, "Mary."
Had she said a quiet prayer to Him asking Him to come to her? Yes, He has told us that if we ask anything in His Name this He will do in order to glorify the Heavenly Father. (John 14:13) Does He appear to Mary Magdalene so that she's the first person on the face of this planet to preach the Resurrection? Yes, she is the first to preach Christ's Good News. He is alive!
Mary shows us how the sincere heartfelt pain of someone's death turns can become tear-drying-up joy when we ask Jesus Christ to come to us. Our joy is in Him; all of our joy. She is so joyful she starts to reach for Him yet He tells her He has not yet ascended to our Heavenly Father. Ascension is moments away.
So He paused His ascension because she asked Him to come to her? It certainly looks that way.
The asking is important. His ascension into Heaven to complete His Resurrection is most important. So why would He pause ascension? Because He loves Mary Magdalene. And why would He pause what He is doing at this moment? Because He loves you. He died on the Cross for you to prove His love for you.
Jesus Christ your Savior knows both your physical pain and your heartfelt pain. Go ahead, ask Him to come to you. Ask Him.
What an awesome Savior we serve!!
To God be the Glory!
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org