Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene (Part 2)
"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'" (John 20:16). With one word, Mary's name, Jesus changes her grief to gladness! No gardener would know her name, and no one else would say it exactly the way Jesus did. Mary had turned away from the angels before they could speak the glad news to her, but Jesus Himself delivered the joyful message with only one word!

"She turned and said to Him, 'Rabboni!' (which is to say, Teacher)." Moments of greatest joy are often accompanied by very little speech; Jesus and Mary each expressed themselves in a single word. Mary's devotion to Jesus was rewarded in that she witnessed the very first appearance of the Lord after His resurrection (cf. Mark 16:9). She who had been filled with Satan becomes an honored messenger of Christ.

"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" (John 20:17). What did Jesus mean by these words? Perhaps His meaning can be adequately expressed in the following manner: "Mary, you are now convinced that I am indeed the risen Lord. But, you cannot decide whether I am really here or if I am only some vision or apparition. You desire to determine by your physical sense of touch, whether you are actually seeing Me or only My ghost. This is not necessary, Mary. I am really here; I have not yet ascended to My Father. I will be in the world for a while longer, and there will be other opportunities to see Me. The duty of this moment is for you to go and tell My sorrowing disciples that I have risen and shall ascend to My Father." There is no truth to the theories that suggest that there was something wrong with Mary physically touching Jesus. This point is easily established since Jesus allowed the other women to touch Him (e.g., Matt. 28:9), and He commanded Thomas to touch Him (cf. John 20:27).

Jesus makes a clear distinction between His relationship with the Father and our relationship with the Father. Although it is true that God is our Father and His, They share a divine relationship that we do not. Although Jesus' honor and exaltation as the Son of God is superseded by none, our position as sons of God by adoption is perhaps as high as any other honor in the universe (cf. Rom. 8:18)!

Mary left the tomb to deliver the joyful message to the disciples that "she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her" (John 20:18). Immediately after Jesus appeared to Mary, He appeared to the other women who were at that time traveling back to inform the apostles of the news about Jesus' resurrection. "And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, 'Rejoice!' So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him" (Matt. 28:9). Though they had already been told about Jesus' resurrection by the angels, being able to experience this truth firsthand would have had a profound impact upon them.

"Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me" (Matt. 28:10). Jesus' instructions to notify His brethren would include all of His disciples, not just the apostles.

Luke 24:10 lists Mary Magdalene with the other women, which seems to imply that the women together "told these things to the apostles." If such is the case, then the women must have waited for Mary Magdalene to rejoin them before they shared the news. However, it could also be that Luke is merely recording the fact that these women informed the apostles of Jesus' resurrection; he may not be trying to communicate the notion that they all did such together.

"And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them" (Luke 24:11). The very fact that most of the apostles did not initially believe the women is a testimony to the reality of the resurrection. These men were not expecting Jesus to be raised up from the dead; they were not visionary enthusiasts prepared to embrace any story that might be told to them. Most of them would not be satisfied without visual proof. Thus, the fact that they later believed and made great sacrifices for the kingdom of Christ is a strong indicator that they did come to believe and know that Jesus was alive!