Wednesday, April 4, 2012
At first glance this picture made the tree looked like it had blue as well as white blossoms. But after I looked at it a while, I realized that the blue was the sky. I was looking into another dimension.
Jesus rises into another Dimension. The story of the Risen Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18) is one of the most beautifully told stories in the Bible. John has Mary weeping by herself at the empty tomb. Two angels ask her why she is weeping. As she answers them, she turns and sees a man that she takes to be the gardener. She asks him where they have taken the body of Jesus. Jesus simply says her name and she knows that this "gardener" is Jesus, her dear Lord.
Earlier in chapter 10 Jesus had said that he was the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep by name and that his sheep would recognize his voice. In a hymn we sing words addressed to us by Jesus, "I have called you each by name....I love you and you are mine." The love Jesus has for his followers enables me to recognize his presence within me.
Jesus tells Mary not to hold on to him because he has not completed his return to his Father. The line also helps me think that from now on Mary will not be relating to Jesus as she did before he died. The relationship that he will have with her and me and all his followers will be deeper and more intimate.
Jesus tells her to go to his "brothers" (up until this point he has called them "disciples") and tell them "I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." All of Christ's followers will then be brothers and sisters with the Risen Jesus and with one another.
John ends the passage with, "Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord.'" The first to see the Risen Lord,, she is called "The Apostle to the Apostles."