John 20:13-17 – The First Easter

John 20:13-17
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

-Jesus arose from the dead early that morning with a very important mission, to appear in Heaven before God the Father and present His blood as atonement for the sins of all mankind.  “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)  All the power and wiles of Satan had tried and failed to stop the Lord from completing His atoning work as Savior.  Surely now that He is risen and glorified nothing could stop Him.  But He did stop.  Why?  To soothe the tears of a woman desperate to find Him.  The Bible is the story of how much God loves the human race and never is that illustrated more clearly than on the first Easter morning when Jesus paused the entire plan of redemption and a well-deserved return trip to Heaven to comfort one of His own.

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