Jesus said to her “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
“Let it go” was the hit song from
Disney’s animation “Frozen” a song about empowerment through liberated thought
It’s good advice, easier to give to
others than apply to ourselves maybe but all part of growing into the fullness
Mary of Magdala, whom Jesus addresses
here, knew something of letting go. Jesus had driven seven demons from her
thereby transforming a tormented past into a brighter future. A future
seemingly snatched by the cruel events of Good Friday, until wonderfully,
Easter Sunday morning dawned dispersing confusion and tears of grief, infusing
joy and wonder into her life as she meets her Jesus and shares the news with
his followers becoming known as the “apostle to the apostles”.
For this to happen Mary had to learn to
let go – of Jesus.
Mary “Do not hold onto me…”
Letting go of precious things is very
hard, harder still when they’ve been lost to you and then rediscovered. Yet the
tighter we cling to them for fear of a second loss the more inhibited becomes
To gain a richer, deeper, vaster
comprehension of the Lord Jesus Mary needed to let go of her
rabbi Jesus, I suspect this is the same for many of us. We can all hang
onto our comfortable conceptions of who we think Jesus is and thereby fail to
allow him truly to become our Lord.
Perhaps for you he is merely a good teacher, a prophet, a moral man, a prophet, a demiurge, a fiction, a fallacy or maybe gentle Jesus meek and mild –still in the Christmas crib.
But the Bible the story of Jesus takes him from the crib to the cross, through death to bodily resurrection from the tomb to ascended Lord, the returning Judge of humanity, the Lord of history – a friend of sinners, giver of life co-equal with the Father.
That’s quite a lot to grasp;
comprehension requires relinquishment of that which we thought we know of
Jesus, opening ourselves to the reality of the resurrection.
It is interesting that the news Mary
carried to the apostles wasn’t simply that “Jesus is alive” but Jesus is
returning to his Father God who is to be known as their Father God as well.
The new reality that Mary carried is
that we can be adopted into the family of God, this is the good news
of Easter; the future invading the present altering our past.
Before we were orphans lost and
abandoned in our sin, now we are given the right to become children of God
through saving faith in Jesus.
You might think Jesus is lost to you,
entombed in some pigeon hole beyond reach. The truth is nothing can hold Jesus,
neither death, nor earth, nor Mary’s grasp. He is very close to all who would
seek him and see, even through a veil of tears and confusion, that Jesus
Such knowledge brings liberty and
responsibility, we don’t cling to the past but open ourselves up to the future
lived in obedience to Jesus and so begin a rich adventure of obedient faith.
Disney encourages those who would be free
to let “It” go. How free are you today? What is “it” that prevents you
encountering the living Lord Jesus today for the first time or in a richer
deeper way? What steps might you take to let “it” go?
Lord I would know you today
Help me be free of those things that blind me to your presence
Enable me to perceive you even through my doubts and tears
And so release within me a life of love for you, others and myself
That in all things you may take delight