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.
What a scene! Movie writers could not have painted a more dramatic picture. What would it have been like to have witnessed the crucifixion and find yourself crying at the Lord's tomb a few days later. What would it have been like to find yourself so engulfed in grief that you did not recognize Jesus? What would it have been like to hear the Lord speak your name? And what would it have been like to fall down and embrace the feet of Christ? Simply Surreal!
Yet Jesus offers an alternate response to Mary and to us. He tells us that there is a time to linger and cling to him in worship but there is also a time to go. In a sense the Christian life is all about going after clinging. We do not know how long Mary hung on to Jesus' feet but it is suffice to say that she wanted to linger longer. But Jesus had plans for Mary. She, a woman, would be the very first to preach the good news of the resurrection of Christ.
Lord, teach me to go with the message that you have risen from the dead.