The Last Temptation of Christ: Jesus and Mary Magdalene at the Tomb

Jesus said to [Mary], “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
 (John 20:15-17 ESV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  For one thing, it demonstrates Jesus’ supreme love for His friends.  “Do  not cling to me,” He says to Mary who is so overjoyed to see her beloved teacher that she wraps her arms about Him.  I don’t think Jesus is saying, “Take your hands off Me!”  No.  This scene is reminiscent of Naomi and Ruth in the beginning of their story (verses 1 4-18).  But unlike those great saints of the Bible, Mary cannot go where Jesus is about to go and Jesus must not stay behind.

This is a wonderful but highly dangerous moment.  If there is a legendary “Last Temptation of Christ”, this is it.   I don’t say this in some sort of Davinci Code secret marriage sense.  I think, in a literary sense, Mary represents Jesus’ bride but His bride is really the Church.  His true Church loves Him and listens for His voice to say its name.  And, likewise, He loves His Church and longs to be with her.  This love, I believe could have been enough for Him  stay on earth even after His passionate death on the cross.  Simply listen to the reasoning behind His plea to Mary, “For I have not yet ascended to the Father.”  In other words, her embrace could keep Him from completing His mission.

Mary Magdalene is us.  He loves us so very much.  He died for us, after all.  Having done that, how much more would He desire to live with us and to love on us and be loved by us?  I love that because it is such a perfectly personal, human moment.

We humans are so visual by nature, but it is so very difficult to see Jesus even when He’s standing right in front of us and even speaking to us.  But believers know His voice when He says their names and that is something that makes Jesus so special.  He knows our names and speaks them to us.  Then we know we are His.

God Bless,


14 thoughts on “The Last Temptation of Christ: Jesus and Mary Magdalene at the Tomb

  1. Awesome post, Mr.Christopher. You are right in what you say, He is with us Always. So blessed Mary was to be given this moment with our Savior, so blessed we are that we can read of it. You are also blessed that you see it for the truth that is in it and not the scandal that most think of when they read this. Thank you for sharing your insight.

    God Bless


  2. I don’t think Jesus was at all tempted to stay on earth with His church after His resurrection. At that point, Jesus could not longer be tempted in any way. He knew He would show Himself over a 40 day period to His disciples to prove He had risen, and during that period, He was not at all tempted to stay on earth.

    After His resurrection, He could no longer be tempted. Nothing could keep Him from returning to the Father. I think it was harder for Him to be away from His Father. Thanks for sharing. Connie


  3. Mr.Christopher,
    Merry Christmas. I have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can read why I chose you and more about the award including how to accept it, on my site. God Bless. -watw


  4. Mr. Christopher,
    The pic you chose for this article was a perfect representation of the Love that Jesus shared with all his followers. The article was great too. You have a wonderful artistic flare with your presentation of these commentaries. I enjoy this series you wrote.-watw


  5. I cannot thank you enough for this post. It points to a conclusion I’ve been moving toward in exploring the spiritual “marriage” of Jesus and Mary Magdalene – not the physical relationship that Mr. Dan Brown has popularized with his poorly written novel – but the marriage of our spirits in Christ as his Church, represented by Mary Magdalene.


  6. I do not agree with the “dangerous” quality of the moment. Jesus was not tempted in any way in this scene. I do not believe that Mary was physically all over Him to actually embrace Him. That makes no sense given her history and the cultural context.


    • We know very little about Mary. The best conjecture is that she was a benecfactor of Jesus’ ministry. The counter cultural aspect of the scene actually adds to its credebility. Jesus acted and told stories that were counter cultural. In the story of the Prodigal Son, for instance, it was counter cultural for the father to run to his son and embrace him in public like he did. But because of his love for his son, the father ignored all cultural constraints and acted according to his heart, just like Mary does here.


  7. Pingback: The Last Temptation of Christ: Jesus and Mary Magdalene at the Tomb | Sukhendu1961's Blog

  8. No one but Jesus and His Mary know what was said that morning, nor does anyone but Jesus and His Mary know what happened after Jesus’s Resurrection. The need to be included has perpetuated the myth that Jesus is marrying His Church. Neither God the Father nor Jesus would describe the strong relationship with their children as a marriage. Never. The love and marriage between a man and a woman is the cornerstone of Father’s plan. The love and togetherness of Father, Son and wife (Holy Spirit) as the First family and leaders of their decedents is one of familial love, not marriage. Jesus is NOT marrying His church, He will marry again the Wife that has been Forever His. Any other belief is an abomination of Father’s plan.


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