Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to see somebody you love come back from the dead. It’s almost a little mercy toward Mary that she didn’t recognize Jesus at first or she might fall dead at the sight of Him! Taking away a dead body was not an out of the ordinary thing since the embalming process spanned the course of months and eventually resulted in moving the deceased person’s bones to another room of the tomb. You have to give Mary a lot of credit for her boldness, confronting this man in the dawn light.
When Jesus talks to her, He says some pretty awesome things. As if it isn’t enough that He has come back to life and is restored to the health He had a week previous, He tells Mary some amazing news.
- I have not yet ascended to my Father
- My Father is also your Father
- The disciples who I called ‘friends’ the other night are now my brothers
That is all a huge deal. Jesus has risen from the dead, but He is on His way to be seated at the right hand of God in heaven. He’s not there yet, but He’s going there. Before He goes, He’s going to talk to some people and add on some things to reinforce what He told them before He was killed.
Also, this is the first place where Jesus directly calls them brothers. He said once that “Anyone that does the will of God is my brother…” but that wasn’t the same as “Tell my brothers…” Something has happened over the course of the last 3 days that has now brought the disciples and Jesus into the same family.
The adoption has been finalized. The new creation w/ God’s children has begun with Christ’s death and resurrection and the disciples are brothers in that family.
Whenever a significant event happens, people like to do something special to signify how great it is. Fireworks on New Year’s, a new dress on Easter, or a new car for graduation all use one big deal to signify another big deal.
Our adoption into God’s family happened because of and was signified by Jesus rising from the dead. He will never die again and for all who are adopted into that family, we all share the same fate.