Saturday 02 April 2016

Bible Book:

“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.”’” (v. 17)

John 20:11-18 Saturday 2 April 2016

Psalm: Psalm 150


Many of the themes we explored at the beginning of the week in the Gospelof Luke's account of Easter Sunday are also apparent in thisversion, but there are some unique emphases.

Mary articulates the heartbroken cry of all those across thecenturies who have no body to bury, no grave to visit (verse 13).Somehow this lack of a physical focus for grief seems to make it somuch harder to bear. It is perhaps some comfort to find thisacknowledged by Scripture.

Like the women in Luke's Gospel, Mary found it hard to adjust tothe new reality in which a dead man met her in a garden. Becauseshe knew Jesus was dead she failed to recognise him. Sometimes ourassumptions about what we know and about what is possible blind usto the reality that is before us. Yet it is significant that whenshe heard him speaking her name, she did know him. God calls useach by name in an intimate and personal way that not only revealsGodself to us, but also shows us who we truly are in God's love.Thus it is natural that it is when Jesus spoke her name Mary notonly knew him, but had her mind opened to resurrection life and herown participation in it.

We might imagine that Mary was hurt at Jesus' apparent rebuff -"Do not hold onto me". It is the most natural thing in the world towant to hold on to the one we love and never let them go,especially if we have once lost them and believed we would neversee them again. But poignant as this scene is, it is not ultimatelyabout a private reunion. As Jesus explained to Mary, she needed torelease him from that present moment of personal closeness into histimeless existence as the eternal redeemer of all people.

Yet, for all that, Jesus did not leave Mary or send her awayuntil after he had given her the assurance she needed: "I amascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."Although she would no longer be able to touch him and hold him, hewould always be one with her in God - for in God she and all peoplecould now participate with him in resurrection life. And Mary wasto be the first witness and apostle to this great hope for allpeople.

To Ponder

  • Is there anybody you need to let go so that they can fulfiltheir God-given destiny? What do you need first in order to be ableto let go?
  • Have you ever wanted to preserve a special moment? What othermoments might you have lost by doing so?
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