It was Mary who was first to the tomb where Jesus lay after His crucifixion and burial. The stone now rolled away, the tomb is empty and Christ has Risen from the dead. Jesus Christ was Resurrected from the dead. This however this is not what Jesus wanted Mary to focus on, as evident with these words.
17 Jesus said to Mary, “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.”
Jesus Christ wanted to adjust their focus and ours as well, on the Ascention. To go to our God and our Father. Even as Paul pleaded with those in Corinth, to be reconciled with the Father.
In other words do not affix yourself to the crusifixion, death or resurrection of our Lord so much but the Ascention that follows, be fixed on that as your Heavenly gaze. Even as Paul said he reached out to lay hold of why Jesus laid hold of him. To share in His Glory.
It was Adam and Eve who were told “in the day that you eat of the forbidden fruit, you shall die”. Just as simply and precise as that, they died to the things of God. Just as simple and immediate, from the cross we live. Even as it says in Galatians “cursed is everyone who hangs from a tree” meaning Christ who took our curse there, for us to have life in the spirit now. We no longer associating with Adams death, we associate with the life of God in Christ.
Even as scripture says in Hebrews, to move past the resurrection with these words;
6 Therefore leaving the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on all the way to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and this we will do if God permits.” So we know the Ascension as our special calling and priveledge
The resurrection is associated with “dead works”. It is an elementary first principal. It is base and foundational. This is why you are to publicly confess at Baptistism, to be buried in the likeness of Christ’s death, to be raised in newness of life right now. This is the main message from Paul in his Epistle to the Romans. If you can receive this, the book of Romans really is simple. If not Romans seams deep.
Christ went to the cross for us to have eternal life. He packaged it and presented it to us as a gift of a debt free life of joy in the Holy Spirit, now being deposited to our account, being “paid in full”. Having defeated Satan Sin and Death, He gave that to us. We are now instructed to follow Him that “where He is we may be also”. Let us go up from here, standing on the resurrection like a platform. Let us be on our journey in the “upward calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Let us walk out our own Ascention as our work of faith..
When Jesus said “follow Me that where I am, you may be also” He ascended to the Father and calls us to Himself. Who also said “where I go you know and the way you know” so He expects us to know this. Who also said “I am the way the truth and the light”, and “no one comes to the Father except through Me”. And if He had not ascended to the Father, we could not have the Ascension as our goal. But even Paul pleaded with the Corinthians “be reconciled to the Father”, because Christ who committed no sin took on our sin for us to take on His self to be reconciled to The Father” as a free gift. Despise not the gift nor the gift giver. A tremendous price was “paid in full” for you to enjoy unhindered access to everything in The Kingdom of God at hand. This is the conclusion of your journey as pilgrims and sojourners on earth. And the amazing thing is that, you can be both places at the same time because God is right here. You can follow us in and out and find pasture. (John 10)
This is why the writer of Hebrews says to some who finish their journey “For you have not come [g]to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire” speaking of the Old Covenant, it’s un-profitableness and need for the replacement.
The writer goes on to say “22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven (meaning you’ve checked into Heavenly Jerusalem like a hotel registery). You have come to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect (of those who have met their arrival), 24 to Jesus the Mediator of The New Covenant” as being implimentable and fully operational and active today. Today! If you can hear His voice, harden not your heart like the Hebrews did and were stuck in the wilderness for 40 years.
As a side note; the word “church” comes from the Greek word “Eklesia” and is correctly translated about us who are The Called out ones“, which is us who hear the voice saying “come up hither” meaning, to ascend.
Do you hear this ? “But you have come”? Jesus said “follow Me that where I am, Right Now, you may be also. Some of us have done that. It is a foregone conclusion. This is expected for you to arrive here and take your proverbial “seat in the Heavenlies in Christ Jesus far above all principalities and powers”.
As Hebrews goes on to say “25 See that you do not refuse Him who calls you. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape certain judgment if we turn away from Him who calls us from heaven.
Jesus after He told Mary not to cling then said “Mary, go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father”. So we should not be confused at what direction we must go. Again as our Lord would say while He was a man, “let us go up from here”? So let us arise but not from the dead. Let’s follow our leader, the Author and Finisher of our faith and ascend to His voice.
The Christ of the cross giftef us the resurrection. The Ascention is our focus, our new task and work, but not of human endeavor, but as it were by faith. We now use the Word of God at the behest of The Holy Spirit mingled with our faith to accomplish our tasks. Yes “if you have faith of a mustard seed you shall say to this mountain, be moved into the sea, and it shall be done for you”. We move mountains in the spirit, to arrive at our new domain.
Even Paul said that he sought out, if he may attain to the resurrection, as being the limited focus of the Fathers. But our calling is much higher. Why? Because Paul’s mission as he explained to Festis while he was on trial was that “it was our fathers objective to aquire the resurrection, think it strange we would too?”. The resurrection is our starting point thanks to the work of the cross and by the New Covenant explanations, this should be clear.
This is what makes believers Christians, the Eklesia and the called, and “People of the way”. They are on a journey but not a horizontal plain, but a verticle ascent.
It is us who build upon these works whose works are greater than his. Even Jesus while He was a man said “greater works shall you do than Me because I go to the Father“. Because we followed Paul who pleaded with us to be reconciled to the Father, and we are, and we heard Jesus say “follow me that where I am you may be also” and we did. We are now invited to build upon their works, by inviting you to participate, as seen also with these words from Paul from 1 Corinthians 3.
Because“we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. (Not some building on earth). 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the (invisible, proverbial) foundation, and another builds on it (in an invisible and real way). But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with (invisible proverbial) gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
The greater works that we do are not more important, but they are higher in stature. Whoever builds upon these works shall receive a reward. With the foundation being so secure . Let us go up from here with some Old Testament style pictures.
Paul referred to these pictures when he said “When I was a Child, I thought like a child and played like a child and spoke like a child. When I became a man (mature in the faith) I put away childhood things.” And the Israelites were called children some 1200 times throughout their wanderings in the desert, showing for us they were not able to put away the old teaching mechanisms to advance.
The writer of Hebrews says “Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, (for not advancing)
And said, ‘They always go astray intheirheart, showing us where our journey takes place
And they have not known My ways.”
They deveated from the Heavenly Calling.
It was in Old testament times they would say let us go up to Jerusalem. However if you think about that, Jerusalem was not so much up. The Mount of Olives and Mount Zion as well as other places were higher than Jerusalem. Like many cities, Jerusalem was in a sprawled out flat. You could go down from Jerusalem which would take you ultimately to the Dead Sea which is the lowest elevation on Earth. From there you would have to go up.
The Dead Sea is also called the Sea of Galilee which Galilee means gentiles or the Sea of nations. showing for us that the Dead Sea is the sea of gentiles, because those who are without Christ are The walking Dead. It’s a sea of people.
It was for this cause that Jesus Christ recruited the disciples first from the Sea of Galilee/nations. Because his message was sent to the Gentiles, and it was the first disciples that were fishermen, and Jesus Christ said follow me and I will make you a fisher of men. This too was a parable, for without a parable spake he not to the people and this parable had direct reference to the Christ coming to all the Gentiles. To all the people. This is also indirect reference to the promise made to Abraham that “I will make you the father of many nations/gentiles or Galileans, and “in your seed (meaning Christ) all the nation’s/Gentiles of the earth shall be blessed”. This has always been God’s intended target, all nations.
A topographical map would show the progression from the lowest elevation on earth of the dead sea to Jerusalem as a non-written, functionable parable to walk out so that even if you can’t read, you could understand “the call” and “the way” of the Gospel of salvation, was to proverbially go up .
This is why there were many people from every nation, tongue and dialect who would proverbially come up to Jerusalem for the feasts. The conclusion of all the feasts is Resurrection and the Ascention.
It is a shame the forefather’s hope was stuck on the resurrection. The resurrection for us in New Testament nomenclature is the Baptism where we recon our old man dead so we can walk in newness of life. That we identify with the death of Christ, to be raised from the dead, as Romans and elsewhere teaches.