Friday within the Octave of the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord
Posted on April 9, 2021 byunder
Scripture: St. John 20:11-18 (NKJV)
20:11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
“Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father…” The “yet” in this sentence from Jesus carries so much weight. It is as if He is saying to Mary, “It’s not in this physical way that you are to cling to Me, but I have instituted other ways in which you may cling all the more.”
Luther was keenly aware of Christ’s point to Mary, which is why he wrote: “If now I seek the forgiveness of sins, I do not run to the cross, for I will not find it given there. Nor must I hold to the suffering of Christ, as Dr. Karlstadt trifles, in knowledge or remembrance, for I will not find it there either. But I will find in the sacrament or gospel the word which distributes, presents, offers, and gives to me that forgiveness which was won on the cross.” (LW 40, p. 213-214)
Rejoice, indeed, dear saints of God that you have been brought to know where to run in your time of need for the forgiveness of sins. You cannot go to the place where He won it on the cross, but He distributes such forgiveness through His Word and Sacraments. Cling to Him there as much as possible.
Prayer: Almighty God, who through Thine Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, we humbly beseech Thee that, as Thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by Thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.