Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
“I have seen the Lord.”
The Resurrection of Jesus is the key to our faith. Viewing Jesus as a human teacher or moral guide on earth is ignorance toward His true nature—and ignorance of our own natures. His Resurrection not only gave proof that He is both God and man, but also pointed us to the truth of our own personal state of existence after death. When speaking to Mary Magdalene, he immediately mentions His intimate and personal relationship with each of us. ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God,’ he says. He is telling Mary that we are children of God just as He is, and we are all brothers.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17, NABRE).
If we are all children of God as Jesus is, then we can expect that we will experience a similar condition to Christ after death—continued life in a glorified body. But in order to receive this gift, we cannot view Christ simply as a human teacher or moral guide. We must accept Him as Risen, as Lord, and we must have a personal and intimate relationship with Him. Our relationship must be familial, as brothers, as children to a father, with complete love and trust as we follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In light of the Resurrection, viewing Christ as anything less than our Lord is impossible. In light of the words spoken to Mary Magdalene outside of His tomb, viewing our connection to Christ as anything less than intimate and familial is a denial that we are heirs who will receive the boundless love of our Father as we pass from earth into His Kingdom.
Copyright 2022 Jessica Tucker