Touch Me Not

Photo by Lefty Kasdaglis on Unsplash

In our 8:30 service today we’re going to be looking at the empty tomb of our Lord. We’ll be in John 19:38-20:10. For our Sunrise Service I wanted to look at the verses that come after this. Having seen the burial clothes of Jesus in the empty tomb, Peter and John go back home:

John 20:10-13 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher, 12 and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!

But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping”. Peter and John saw the empty tomb and the clothes left behind, but Mary lingered. When she first found the tomb opened she ran back to the disciples, telling them:

John 20:2 … They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.

Mary had not found Jesus’ body, so she was not satisfied. Someone must have taken Jesus’ body!

Mary was often found sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing Him teach (Luke 10:38-39). When Mary’s brother Lazarus died she told Jesus, while weeping,

John 11:32 … Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

Her weeping and hurt caused Jesus Himself to weep, though He would raise Lazarus from that grave in short order. Mary wanted Jesus. Peter and John looked in the tomb and saw Jesus’ grave clothes, but Mary looked in the tomb and saw “seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain”. They ask her “Woman, why weepest thou?”, to which she replies “they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him”.

God has promised in His Word:

Jeremiah 29:13 … ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Mary sought Jesus with all her heart. Peter and John were happy with empty grave clothes, but Mary wanted Jesus. So Jesus came! We read:

John 20:14-15 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

There is Jesus! Mary is being driven by FEELINGS right now, and she does not recognize that this is Jesus speaking to her. How is that possible? It is very early in the morning, and waning darkness is difficult on the eyes. I also believe it is because the resurrection body is so glorious, so different than the earthly bodies that we now have, that it will amaze us when the Lord gives them to us. The last time Mary saw Jesus He was beaten so badly that the Prophet said:

Isaiah 52:14 As many were {astonished} at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

The Jesus that stood before Mary now was in His glorified eternal state. She supposed He was the gardener. But then, Jesus called her name:

John 20:16 … Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

When God the Son called her name, the tears were chased from Mary’s eyes. Mary knew this was Jesus. It is such a blessing when God calls your name – that is, when you are seeking him. In the Garden of Eden …

Genesis 3:9 … the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

On that day Adam and his wife hid from the Lord, knowing that they had sinned against His command. On that day Jesus told the serpent, that old Devil, also called Satan (Revelation 12:9):

Genesis 3:15 … I will put enmity between thee {you old Serpent} and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This was the very first prophecy that a Messiah would come, being born of the woman. This Messiah would be bruised by the devil – and oh, how our Savior was bruised! But this Messiah would also crush the head of the serpent. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel, but only His heel would be hurt. Jesus is alive.

Jesus appears to Mary early on so that we can see that God always keeps His promises! What God said in Genesis is fulfilled in John. Our God is faithful!

Touch Me Not, For I Have Not Ascended

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Why did Jesus tell Mary Touch me not? One of the stupidest explanations I ever heard was that “Jesus’ wounds were still sore, and He didn’t want to be touched”. Let’s look to the text rather than to fantasy.

Word Study The word TOUCH is the Greek ἅπτομαι háptomai, {pronounced hap’-tom-ahee}, which means “to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to”. Mary wasn’t just touching Jesus – she grabbed Him and held on! In Matthew 28:9 we are told “they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him”. Mary grabbed hold of Jesus and didn’t want to let go. But Jesus had to go. His mission was not fully completed. Jesus said I am not yet ascended to my Father. The Resurrected Christ must ascend to the Father. For what? The Book tells us:

Hebrews 9:11-14 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Our Jesus, a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 6:20-7:3; Hebrews 7:17, 21), entered into the Heavenly Holy of Holies by his own blood. It is His Blood that and His Blood alone that was accepted by the Father God as payment for our sins (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 2:13). The Lamb of God paid our sin debt in full. The Scripture says:

Romans 4:20-24 {Abraham} staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

Jesus Christ was delivered to the Cross “for our offenses.
Jesus Christ was delivered from the tomb “for our justification”.

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15). The grave could not hold Jesus, so Mary must not hold Him now. But He will return many times over the next 40 days showing us that death and the grave are defeated, along with sin, for all who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit this wondrous Resurrection Sunday. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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