Page 12 - April 2024 - Truth & Tidings
P. 12

Christ and sending of the Holy Spirit must   First to Tell About Him
        come first. Therefore, Jesus instructed her,
        “Touch me not” (20:17). A better rendering,   Mary wasted no time. She “came and
        which reflects the present imperative of   told the disciples that she had seen the
        the verb, is “Stop clinging to me” (NASB).    Lord, and that he had spoken these things
        Incidentally, this instruction by the Lord to   unto her” (v18). This is consistent with
        Mary confirms His was an actual physical   Mark’s report: “And she went and told
        resurrection, not a vision or hallucination.   them that had been with him, as they
        She was clinging to the body of the   mourned and wept” (16:10). We should
        glorified Lord. But she must not, Jesus   not conclude that the disciples were all
        adds, “for I am not yet ascended to my   in one place at this moment, although
        Father” (v17).                        they would be together in the upper room
          Then the Lord gave Mary a mission:   later in the day (without Thomas). Nearly
        “Go to my brethren, and say unto them,   bursting with excitement, Mary likely
        I ascend …” (v17). The instruction was   made visits to a few different homes,
        not to send the news to His brothers in   sharing this news. But when she did, she
        the flesh (i.e., His siblings). There is no   was not believed. “And they, when they
        indication that Mary went to members   had heard that he was alive, and had
        of Jesus’ family with this report. Rather,   been seen of her, believed not” (v11).
        Christ’s resurrection created a new   Because her report included news of His
        relationship wherein He now referred to   ascension, it may have sounded to them
        His disciples as “brothers” (see also Mat   as fabricated. They would never see Him
        28:10; Heb 2:11-14). Notice also that the   again if His ascension was about to occur
        Lord’s instruction to Mary was to tell his   (or already had). In other words, they may
        brothers, not about His resurrection, but   have interpreted Mary’s news as this: “The
        about His ascension. His resurrection was   Lord appeared to me, but it’s not likely
        but a necessary step in His going all the   He’ll appear to you, for He is ascending.”
        way to glory.                         Yet His words to them earlier in the upper
          The final bit of news she was to share   room assured them they would see Him
        with them included these words, “I ascend   again (16:16-22).
        unto my Father, and your Father; and to   At this point, there were few believers
        my God, and your God” (Joh 20:17). This
        particular wording unites the Lord Jesus   in the Lord’s resurrection. John was the
        with His followers, yet at the same time   first to believe, but Mary Magdalene
        emphasizes a substantial difference, for   was the first to hear His voice, see His
        He does not refer to “our Father and our   face, and share the wonderful news He
        God.” As Augustine wrote, “He saith   instructed her to give. The world’s first
        not, Our Father: in one sense, therefore,   evangelist was met with disbelief, so don’t
        is He mine, in another sense, yours; by   be discouraged if people reject the news
        nature mine, by grace yours … my God,   you bring of a risen, glorified and coming
        under whom I also am as man; your God,   Saviour.
        between whom and you I am mediator.”
                                              7  The fact that they did not believe tells us John
                                              was likely not among those she visited (for John
        6  Quoted in Leon Morris, 703.        20:8 indicates he did believe).

        108 TRUTH kTidings   April  2024
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