Do not cling to me - 05

Today I attended a funeral to mourn the loss of a member of our family. I couldn't help but think of this passage in John 20:11-18 that I've been discussing. God's Word really does meet every person and every circumstance right where they are and right when we need it. The Holy Spirit takes those words hidden in our hearts and creates in us renewed hope and a joy that transcends this world.

Just like Mary, I know many family members and friends today wanted desperately to go back to how things were. There was much weeping and searching for answers that may never come. Just like that resurrection morning, there is joy and rejoicing to be found. Even in the midst of death, we can feel that there is more. The sadness and the joy mix together and make us long for more. The short time we all have together in this life is not enough, it will never satisfy, and loss will always hurt. Its only when we open our hearts to God's endless and unfathomable love that we get a taste of what is to come.

John is revealing this wonderful truth when he shares with us Mary's encounter with Jesus. One life ends and another begins. Death is defeated and a new life in God's presence awaits us. How wonderful it would have been if we could turn back the days and see the life of this young girl restored. What rejoicing there would be to look upon an empty grave. John shows us, there is an even greater rejoicing in the promise of new life that awaits us because our Lord Jesus Christ is risen. He has made a way for us all. Of course we want to cling to what was. We cling to relationship and memories of the people we knew. And that is a good thing, but I think Jesus, in his love and never-ending patience, would say cling not to what was, but rather what now is and what is to come. 

John 20:11-18 (ESV) "But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for 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 that he had said these things to her."

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