“Do not cling to Me ….” John 20:17 (NKJV)
We can become so attached to someone or something that we don’t ever want to lose it especially if we have recovered something so dear to us. We cling to it so we may never lose it again. That must have been how Mary Magdalene felt about Jesus. She was the first person to see Him after He rose from the dead early that Sunday morning. The Gospels tell us that she was present at His crucifixion. She witnessed the gruesome agony of His death on the cross. It was an unimaginable loss. Her grief was beyond description. When she went to the tomb, John said she stood outside weeping. As she wept, she stooped and looked inside the tomb. Grief stricken and confused over the absence of Jesus’ body, she turned to leave when it happened. She saw who she thought was the gardener and asked him if he had moved Jesus’ body. It was Jesus! When He called her name, she recognized Him at once! Surprised and relieved, she naturally clung to Him, addressing Him with the highest term of respect that could be given a Jewish teacher in that day, “Rabboni!” But Jesus responded in what seems a very strange way. “Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'” (John 20:17 NKJV) Mary did not want to lose Jesus again! Still, she did not yet understand the resurrection. It would have been selfish and disobedient for Mary to have clung to Jesus and kept Him to herself. Both Jesus and Mary had important work to do. Jesus told her to go to the other disciples and tell them He had risen and would ascend to His Father. What are you clinging to? Jesus has a work for you to do. Like Mary, we’ve been entrusted to share with everyone the greatest message in history! It would be selfish and disobedient for us to cling to Jesus as if to keep Him to ourselves. Mary was the first to see the risen Lord and the first to share the news! Jesus has commissioned us to do the same with the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us! That’s good news!