Do not cling to me - 08
We often cling to the past when we can't see the future. At first, Mary was unable to see a way forward and sought to return to the past. Mary's recognition of Jesus was all she needed to move forward. Hear me when I tell you, Jesus is always with you. If you can't step forward, or you can't bring yourself to believe the promised future is possible, then stop and look around. That simple act of looking for Jesus in the present is the act of seeking him. Jesus promises us in Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Jesus is in our past, present, and future. We remain in him if we continue to move with him and resist the self-urgency to retreat back to the familiar.
Mary's ability to move into the new life was due to her obedience. Jesus commands her to Go and tell the others the good news and she goes right away. Oswald Chambers, in his book, A Place of Help, says "We shall not see Jesus if we sit still, or if we pray and long for Him, but if we go quickly, 'there shall ye see Him.'" * We will never see and experience all that Jesus has in store for us if we are unwilling to go. God is longsuffering and his love and patience knows no bounds, but we will still not receive the promise if we do not take that step forward.
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."
* Chambers, O. (1958). The Place of Help. Marshall, Morgan and Scott.