Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene as she is crying in sorrow for him at the empty tomb. Although Mary doesn’t recognize Jesus at first, when he says her name she at once knows he is her “Rabboni!” Jesus asks her not to hold on to him, but rather solicits her to go and tell the disciples that he is returning to God.
New light / Truth / Implications
The sequence of finding the empty tomb and then discovering the risen Christ seems significant. The empty tomb is such a rich symbol of the process of dying to self, becoming empty of self, becoming open, humble, and ready for the presence of God to fill you.
It also seems significant that Jesus asks Mary not to cling to him, but rather share the news with the disciples, which she did. One cannot truly share in the joy of the resurrection if one is clinging to the spent physical form. Indeed, it seems there is a big ‘letting go’ here on Mary’s part.
Grief blinds us to truth at times. We may see what we ordinarily do not see, and we may miss some of which we ordinarily see. Mary didn’t expect to see Jesus standing there in the garden, and therefore didn’t even recognize him. But upon hearing Jesus speak her name, she felt no doubt as to his presence.
I have felt this unmistakable feeling of something ethereal speaking my name – when there was no one nearby who was speaking to me. I don’t have any rational explanation for this; likely it is one of those experiences beyond what my thinking mind can comprehend. Maybe this was true for Mary in that moment. But she opens herself to this voice, and follows it.
Jesus told Mary “…I have not yet returned to the Father…tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” This language suggests that Jesus is en route, that his returning is a process, or a journey of sorts. I have read that the three days it took for Jesus to rise up is what is required to liberate the soul from the physical to the astral plane and then to the spiritual or causal plane. I don’t really understand this, and am not certain of the significance. What is your understanding of this process and its implication?