Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” John 20:17 NIV
The first person who sees Jesus after the resurrection is a woman named Mary. Mary Magdalene. Which means she’s from Magdala. She’s the first person to see and witness the resurrected Jesus, and out of all the people that God could have chosen to be the first to see the resurrected Christ, why would he choose Mary Magdalene?
Here’s Mary’s wiki page… before meeting Jesus, she was a prostitute.
In the gospel of Luke, her reputation was mentally and emotionally unstable. Mary’s life was messy, and out of all the people that God could have chosen to see him first, why her?
Jesus was crucified on Friday. Saturday was the Sabbath. And on Sunday morning, three women head to the tomb to ensure the body has been properly embalmed. Wouldn’t the men have done this on Friday, yes. But then the women show up to make sure it was done right. But when they get there, the stone is rolled away, the body is gone, and there are two men standing there. In hindsight, as John writes this, he knows these were angels. The other women run away, but Mary lingers.
“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'” John 20:11-15
Even though Jesus has predicted his resurrection, she is not going to the tomb expecting him to be gone. Between the crucifixion and this moment, there were NO Christians. No one believed he was coming back.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” John 20:16-17
Did you catch what Jesus said?
My Father and your Father to my God and your God.
Jesus tells Mary, because of what I’ve accomplished on the cross and through the resurrection, because of your faith, you are now part of the family of God.
There once was distance, but now you belong through your faith in me. Mary, you’ve been adopted into the family. Yes, I know your past. Yes, I know what you’ve done and what’s been done to you and Mary, I love you. I accept you. I’ve made a way for you. God is my Father and now your Father, my God and now your God.
Oh, and Mary, go tell the others.
Go and tell Thomas. Even though he doubted me. You tell him, “my Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
Go and tell Matthew. Even though he stole from his fellow Jews and was hated by all. You tell him, “my Father and your Father, my God, your God.”
Go and tell Peter. Even though he denied me. You tell him, my Father and your Father, my God and your God.
And now John passes this on to us. Because Jesus died for our past, we have been adopted into the family of God. You can now say “My Father and my God.”
Jesus, thank you for making me a child of God.