LET GO, GET MORE
Lord Jesus, I am prone to waver, to fall, and to need help. Therefore, my confidence is in you, the constant One.
Read John 20:11–18
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about some of the ways that you have experienced the presence of the risen Jesus. Prepare to meet him again today.
Without any idea of what has actually happened, Mary has no hope. All she wants is the body, so that she can prepare Jesus for burial. Why does she not recognize Jesus? Her eyes dimmed are by tears? Jesus’ resurrection body is different? She has no concept of resurrection? We can’t be sure, but what she discovers is a total surprise. The disciples were not expecting Jesus to rise. When he did, it was not wish fulfillment; it was a genuine, surprising, unexpected raising of the dead to life.
Amazing and unexpected it may have been. Unique and world changing it certainly was. But the risen Jesus is revealed in simple everyday places and actions, like speaking a name in a garden. Why should Mary not hold on to Jesus? After all, Jesus wants his followers to stay close, remaining in him (John 15:1–17). He has not yet ascended, but he will. Change is coming. Mary wants things to stay as they are. She must learn to relate to Jesus in a different way. There is always more to discover about Jesus, and sometimes that will mean letting go of old experiences and ways of thinking about him in order to find him in new ways. Holding on to yesterday’s understanding and experience may hold us back.
What might you have to let go, in order to discover more of Jesus?
Father, lift me above my small world, and enable me to see my place in Your wider work. Help me to play my part in it well.