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“Rabboni !" she
This was every: thing; Mary had found Him, and found Him living, and He had brought out clearly in Mary's heart all the affection to which His love answered.
Now comes the time for intelligence, and it is Mary, who sought the living amongst the dead, but with a heart that belonged to the Lord, attached to His person,
she it is whom the Lord employs to communicate to the apostles themselves the knowledge of the highest privileges that belong to Christians. We clearly see the importance of this devotedness. It was not knowledge that characterised Mary, but her affection brought her spiritually near to the Lord, and made her a fitting vessel for communicating what He Himself had in His heart. She possessed, as a vessel, this knowledge ; but more than this, she possessed the Lord.
As to her position, Mary Magdalene represented the Jewish remnant attached to the Lord's person, but without knowing God's glorious counsels. She thought to have found Jesus again risen no doubt, but come again into the world to take the place that was rightly His, and satisfy the affections of those who had left everything for Him in the days of His humiliation, despised of the world, and denied by His people. But she could not have Him thus now. Another glory of a far higher excellence, of a far greater extent was in God's thoughts, and another blessing for us of great value. In receiving Christ, she must receive Him according to God's thoughts concerning the Saviour. Only her attachment to the Lord opened this blessed path before her. “Touch me not,” the Lord says, “ for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and
your God." She could not have the Lord, even though risen, as come again as Messiah upon earth. He must first of all ascend to His Father and receive the kingdom, and then return : but there was much more than this. A work had been accomplished that placed Him, as Man and Son ever, with the Father in glory, Man in this blessed relationship; but it was a work of redemption that set His own, redeemed according to the value of that work, in the same glory and in the same relationship as Himself. This was based upon the sure foundation of that work in which God Himself and the Father had been fully glorified, and had made themselves known according to all their perfections. (Compare John xiii. 31, 32, and xvii. 4, 5.) According to these perfections, the disciples are brought into the place and according to the relationship of Jesus Himself with God. This was the necessary fruit of Jesus' work; without this, He would not have seen of the travail of His soul.
For the first time Christ calls His disciples His brethren, and puts them thus in His own relationship with God His Father. Judaism disappears for the time being, and as far as the old covenant is concerned, and the full effect of Christ's work, according to the purpose of grace, is revealed; believers are placed in it by faith, and we have the knowledge and power of it by the Holy Ghost given to us, after that Jesus had entered personally, as Son of Man, into the glory that resulted from His work.
The resurrection of Jesus left death, sin, the power of Satan, and God's judgment behind man; it brought heavenly glory into view, although, in order to bear witness to the reality of the resurrection, Jesus was not yet entered into the glory itself. But as far as concerns the basis, that is, the relationship, it was established and revealed. The Jewish remnant, attached to Christ, becomes the Son's company, associated with Him in the power of the privileges into which He is entered, as risen from amongst the dead.
DISCERNING GOOD AND EVIL. ONE of the marks of a full grown man in the things of the Lord, is the having the senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Heb. v. 14); but good and evil are now measured, not by a rule of human righteousness, but by the cross ;
and it is in Him who hung there that we learn "the full knowledge of God.” The new
man is renewed unto this full knowledge after the image of Him that created him. It is in the wilderness journey that we are called on to discern between good and evil : it is there we get the needed exercise of the spiritual senses in order that we may do so ; there we specially need “the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.' Else we shall put good for evil and evil for good. Hence Paul further speaks of our growing by the full knowledge of God, when he desires that our walk down here should be worthy of the Lord unto all well pleasing; and Peter, who in his epistles conducts us along the ways of God's holy governmint in the scene where good and evil are, desires that "
peace may be multiplied to you in the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Pet. i. 3.) We have thus to measure every.