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Seeds of the Kingdom

Holding On

by Bayo Earl

Jesus said ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
John 20:17, NIV

This is a verse that I have always found a bit uncomfortable. I have never really understood why Jesus told Mary not to hold on to Him and thought that it felt a bit cold. I was reading this passage over Easter and decided to read a bit more about what this verse really meant.

It seems that there are two main messages from this verse. One is that Jesus is indicating that closeness and real deep relationship with Him will now come through knowing the Holy Spirit, rather from being near Jesus physically. This is definitely good news for us!

The other message we can get from this is that Mary needed to go and do what Jesus had for her to do – to go and tell the disciples He was alive, and obviously she couldn’t do this while staying in the garden.

This really got me thinking, and actually felt quite challenging! How much do I restrict my relationship with the Lord because I can’t see Him or be with Him physically? It really struck me that if I want a deeper relationship with Him, then I really need to get to know the Holy Spirit more as the person He is, not my limited perception of Him.

The good news is that although Jesus is no longer physically on the earth, because the Holy Spirit lives within us, we can know Him just as closely as if we were with Him on earth.

The other question I had was, “What do I need to let go of in order to do what the Lord has for me to do?” This is a question I am still asking. It wasn’t bad that Mary was holding on to Jesus physically. So, it might not even be something bad that we are holding on to, but just something that we need to lay down in order to take the next step.

And the beautiful thing is that we can still hold on to Jesus, because of our relationship with Him and because of the Holy Spirit. I think that this was what Jesus was trying to show Mary, that she could still hold on to Him in her heart, but that real deep relationship would now be with the Holy Spirit, because Jesus would ascend into heaven.

So, maybe there are two questions that we can ask the Lord together.

How do I restrict my relationship with You, Holy Spirit, and do I fit You into a box, Lord, because I can’t physically see you?

What do I need to let go of in order to do what you have for me to be doing?

 

Bayo Earl Bayo is on team at Ellel Grange after originally joining Ellel through the gap year programme UNDIVIDED. She loves to be creative – particularly through textiles – has a lot of plants, inside and outside, and is definitely an outdoors person.

 

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