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After the crucifixion of Jesus, He descended into the grave and was resurrected. One place in the Bible tells us that He was resurrected by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:11.) Another tells us He was resurrected by the glory. (Rom. 6:4.) And yet another place in the Scripture says He was resurrected by God the Father. (Acts 2:22,24.) Of course, all of these are true. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the glory is the manifested presence of God, so there is, of course, no contradiction.

It is interesting, however, after Jesus came out of the grave, He saw Mary, and He instructed her to not touch Him, then told her why: "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father" (John 20:17).

Soon after, as Jesus was talking to His friends, He said, "Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have" (Luke 24:39). Many have wondered why Jesus told Mary not to touch Him and then later told His friends to touch Him.

Once while traveling in my car, I heard a minister say that Jesus didn't want to be touched by a woman. It's funny how sometimes people can misinterpret scripture in order to validate their own prejudice.

The true answer is obvious and can be found in the Word. In John 20:17, Jesus told Mary she couldn't touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. Later that day, Jesus appeared to His disciples, but Thomas wasn't there. (vv. 19,24.) Then, eight days later Jesus appeared again to His disciples, including Thomas, and this time He told Thomas to touch Him, saying, "Put your hand in My side" (v. 26). All of that indicates that Jesus had ascended to heaven and returned.

In another Scripture passage, we're told that Christ did not enter the holy places on earth (that are only copies), but entered into heaven itself in the presence of God for us. (Heb. 9:24.) Jesus, the sinless Priest, did what the Levitical priests could never do. (Lev. 16:14-15.) He carried His blood into the heavenly holy of holies where it was accepted as the sacrificial blood, once and for all. (vv. 12,24.)

He placed His blood on the mercy seat as the perfect sacrifice and became the firstborn among many brethren, the head of the Church. (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18.) By doing this, He made a way for us to be born again into His body--the Church the body of Christ. (John 3:5; Rom. 10:13; 12:5.) After that He returned to the earth fully glorified and taught His disciples for forty days. (Acts 1:3.) Then He ascended to the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those who would receive. (Acts 1:9; 2:2-4.)

Because Jesus ascended into heaven and placed His blood on the mercy seat as the once and for all sacrifice for sin, we can now touch Him and be with Him for all eternity.

Scripture References:
Jesus said to her, "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.'" (John 20:17)

"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. (Luke 24:39-40)

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. (Heb. 9:24)

Larry Ollison Ministries
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Larry Ollison
Web site: Walk On the Water Faith Church
Dr. Larry Ollison is founder and Senior Pastor of Walk on the Water Faith Church and founder of Larry Ollison Ministries. With over forty years in the ministry, he is a very popular speaker nationally and internationally and ministers the Word of Faith through radio, television, Internet, and daily e-mail devotionals. As the author of eight books (including The Power of Grace, The Practical Handbook for Christian Living, Breaking the Cycle of Offense, Life is in the Blood, and recently released The Paradise of God), he is in frequent demand for radio/TV interviews, book signings, and magazine publications.

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