One text that remains an enigma to most Christ-followers is the post-resurrection story in the twentieth chapter of John’s gospel where Jesus cautions Mary to avoid touching him, but a week later invites Thomas to do just that.

Mary, seeing her beloved and presumed-dead rabbi now alive, attempted to hug the resurrected Jesus (vs. 16). He emphatically told her that she could not touch him because He had not yet ascended to his Father (vs. 17). Shortly after (when all the disciples were gathered to regroup) Christ appeared to them resurrected! Thomas was absent from this gathering (vss. 19-21). Later, when the disciples reported to Thomas that they had seen Jesus alive, he understandably responded with skepticism (vs. 24). Eight days later, Jesus unexpectedly appeared again to the gathered disciples and challenged Thomas to touch him by placing his hands into the holes that remained in his body (vs. 26-27). The obvious question is this: why did Jesus deny Mary, but later encourage Thomas to touch Him?

In order to understand Jesus’ very different instructions to Mary and Thomas, we need to understand the purity requirements for the Jewish High Priest on the Day of Atonement. The High Priest was forbidden to come into contact with anything that was ceremonially unclean in order to avoid being disqualified to enter God’s presence the following day. So much depended on this ritual purity!

After His resurrection, Jesus (as our ultimate High Priest) would shortly be ministering in the heavenly tabernacle (Heb. 9:11). It is significant that Jesus appeared to the disciples and told Thomas to touch him after eight days, because it takes seven days to ordain a priest (Ex. 29:35).

The most-likely reason for Jesus’ instructions to Mary had to do with the fact that He was determined to enter the heavenly tabernacle in a ready-to-serve, consecrated state. Defilement would not be a sin, but it would have disqualified Him (for a period of time) from entering God’s presence. Mary may have had a number of reasons for defilement (possible menstrual circle, stepping into the tomb, etc), Jesus’ priestly mission was too important to allow for any possibility of failure. By the time Jesus met Thomas, His priestly work is done. He had returned from completing His duties and possible defilement was no longer an issue.

Jesus’ role as prophet was carried out during His earthly life. His role as king was yet to be realized at the time of the ascension. He first needed to be ordained a priest and carry out His duties in the heavenly tabernacle! Nothing could be permitted to stand in the way of his mission.

BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY

478 COMMENTS

      • I think if you read the question again, it specifically states, I have not yet returned to my Father. This then indicates, He is still in Spirit form. For until the total resurrection, the Spirit and the body cannot be reunited!

        • Jesus rose bodily not just spiritually. Mary saw Him in His physical body. She saw him with her physical eyes. Physical eyes do not see spirits. If she tried to touch a spirit her hand would go right through Him.

        • The reasoning was that He had yet to present Himself and those who were resurrected with Him as the FIRSTFRUITS offerings. As High Priest, He had to remain undefined until the offering was made.

          • I agree with the idea that he had to ascend into heavens first and perform the duties of a priest as well as cleansing the heavens as a High Priest. Remember His body though like ours was not as our bodies just like margarine looks like butter but is not butter. As a sacrificial lamb the lamb was to be blameless. And Jesus’s body had no sin in him as it was born of the seed of a woman fathered by Godhimself spiritually. That is why one of Lazurus’ sister after raising Lazurus’, could seat on Jesus’ feet

          • You nailed it Doc!
            Maybe His statement to Mary was two-fold..
            1st.. for the reason of your fine article
            2nd…He no longer wanted Mary to cling to the past. He was about to implement a whole new way of relating to Him by way of Holy Spirit..

          • Correct! Please see Heb.9:12 Jesus has to ascend to heaven to present His blood for the atonement once and for all. So, I totally agree with Dr. Eli. It is an interesting exposition to the glory of God!

        • Jesus was the first resurrected from the dead, however Lazarus was raised from the dead! Jesus was the first resurrected to have His dead body “changed” into a spiritual Body (1 Cor 15 Acts 26:23) And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, (Col 1:18 NKJ) It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. (Joh 2:20-21 NKJ) It was Jesus’ body that was resurrected, not just His “spirit”.

        • What do you mean ressurection not complete? Jesus said he had not yet ascended to the Father… meaning, he had not yet done his priestly duty, to appear in the presence of God, with his blood…so that he makes atonement for sin. Until that was done, he could not associate with sin.

          • Kitty ” Mary one of the women who washed and wrapped His body for burial.” NO She watched as Joseph and Nicodemus buried Jesus left tomb rested 1st day unleavened bread, bought and prepared spices next day then rested Sabbath and arrived at tomb Still dark He was already resurrected.

        • Believe you are missing Something On the morrow aftr the Sabbath you shall offer a wave sheaf offereing THIS ONE WAS Jesus Christ, the firstfruits and firstborn from the dead. He is spirit but they saw him as a body. He wasn’t partly resurrected. bodies don’t go through walls.

          • He walked on water and changed water into wine before death. Jesus knew higher law. Law we are only now becoming aware of through quantum physics. People transport in the spirit and in the body. People levitate, some by accident. He was fully resurrected.

          • It was a physical resurrection. Jesus Body(physical) was glorified into a heavenly state. Body +Spirit United in eternal harmony as perfect as Adam was before the fall. The reason he could go through “walls” he didn’t go through walls he simply was traveling through dimmensions obviously. between (spiritual& physical realm)

          • Homosexuality was sorely unpopular. If Jesus were gay, the Sanhedrin would not have needed false witnesses to condemn Him for trumped up charges. They could have condemned Him for that alone.

          • Clearly Jesus was a Jew through and through. He became something else when Paul, influenced by the Greeks, broadened his message and personhood.

          • He got up and walked out – in his body – like Lazarus did. The only difference is that the shroud and other grave clothes were found intact, but the usual teaching is that He dematerialized and rematerialized once he was clear of the fabric. I don’t know how He did it, or why, but I plan to ask when I see Him! 😉

          • Kitty re the shroud and other grave clothes were found intact. The word shroud in not listed in the bible He was wrapped in linen and a face cloth separately John 20:5-7 Same as Lazarus 11:44 NKJV

            ;9 – shroud of Turin is not from Jesus grave covering

        • Resuscitation and a bit later, resurrection as He rose to the Father? He told Mary that He had not yet risen to the Father. There were others resuscitated. Matthew 27:52 –“many holy people were raised to life” at the rending of the Temple veil. Since Jesus is the first of the resurrected, what were they? Since they, like Lazarus, are not still with us, it is safe to say that they were resuscitated but not resurrected. If Jesus was still in His mortal body (which had been defiled by death) perhaps He was trying to avoid defiling Mary.

          • Friend, Jesus resurrected into an immortal body,, not a “spirit” body. If was a spirit and untouchable, he would not warn Marry against doing so.

          • Mary was one of the women who washed and wrapped His body for burial. Then it was Shabbat, so she couldn’t go to the Temple to get the proper sacrifice for cleansing her defilement for handling the dead. And she was at the tomb to finish up preparing the body, because they weren’t able to get everything done before the beginning of Shabbat, so likely she figured she would wait and go to the Temple after.

          • The word “resuscitation” not in the Scriptures! “First-born,” “First-fruit” are positional, not chronological. They’re haBikkurim our soon-ascending High Priest (ritually clean/immortal body) presents to Father..

        • Hello, M Morie, When there were just grave clothes left in the tomb without a body in them, What was it then that was resurrected that managed to remove the body?

          • wrapped the body. re “women at the tomb ” You mentioned twice that they wrapped Matt27:61 they sat. Mark23:59 Joseph wrapped Both Marys there. Luke 23:53 Joseph took body down and placed in tomb women beheld Sepulchre. Where in the bible does it say the women wrapped the body?

        • So good to have you with us. We are all learning, so welcome. There are many theories about the beloved disciple, but I think that figuring out (or trying) who it REALLY was defeats the purpose as to why John’s Gospel actually keeps it secret. The point is not who the beloved disciple was, the point is that the Word became flesh.

        • It may have been just an oblique way of saying that Jesus, the Messiah is G-d, since the name “John” means “loved by G-d”. John’s gospel, perhaps more than the other three, set out the divinity of Jesus the Messiah.

        • It seems to me that this was just John’s humble way of referring to himself.
          John had already gotten the revelation that Jesus loved him (as Jesus loved ALL of His disciples, of course) and wanted to keep saying it, even years later when he wrote his version of the gospel. Its almost as though the others didn’t quite get the same revelation.

          • KM Vinson, could you explain how those versus clarify this issue/question? I don’t follow your thinking here.

      • Or it could mean “stop/cease clinging to me”: Greek: (h)aptou: present middle imperative of (h)aptw. Some possible translations for this word: “touch, take hold of, hold…cling to” (BDAG, p.126, left column, #2, a & b). ATR-WP notes: “meaning ‘cease clinging to me’ rather than “Do not touch me.” Some translations that are clear about this understanding are: CJB, MEV, NASB & TLV. Among the major modern Aramaic translators, only Bauscher has this level of clarity here. I have a very full schedule. So, it could be a while before I respond to any comments on blogs. Shalom & Aloha

        • Thank you your explanation of “stop/cease clinging to me” makes the most sense. For she would have been trying to hug him. Mary was his beloved, as well as John, who was probably his cousin, both who understood him best as one reason for his preference for them. Later in the third century when the male-only Bishops where invited to Rome to write the first version of The Bible, which the Emperor Constantine presided daily over, much was left out of the earlier Christian writings that had to do with women, little evidently was changed from the Jewish writings.

        • The Middle reflexive imperative of απτω carries three ideas, to cling to, to have intercourse with, and to strike blows on. The point is that it is a more intense action than simply touching or embracing. I suspect Mary had romantic feelings for Jesus as many have alleged through the centuries and Jesus was kindly admonishing her not to try to go there in her moment of joy and cling to what he might now want since he had been resurrected.

          As to the issue of uncleanness, Jesus was resurrected to immortality, the highest gift which the immortal one (Yehovah, which is the acronym of Yihyeh, Hoveh, and Havah) could give to anyone. I seriously doubt Mary could’ve defiled our Lord by the act of touching him. It would’ve taken more, as the use of απτομαι implies, to accomplish that.

          The last thought is how a modern Arian, such as myself, would see things.

        • This also was my understanding. Unlike the comment below that it was sexual, it would be more likely it stemmed from the fact her Lord and God had come back and she wasn’t going to let him go. She most likely hung on for dear life, like kids do when Dad comes home from far away. As far as romance, is he not all our husband? We’re all children. We’re all wives. We’re all sons.

          • I think the idea that Mary grabbed Jesus tightly to ensure that He was really her Master in the flesh and not a ghost has been raised before with the explanation that it is a natural reaction; and that Jesus was just gently chiding her for her enthusiasm.

        • Thank you Russ Hill, that makes sense, “cling and touch mean two different things.
          Dr Eli,I like your methods, this way more people become part of a unit as we dig to understand the Scriptures.

          Peace

        • This is my understanding too. That the clinging is the word used of someone who would hold on and never let go. Jesus was saying, now is not the time to cling forever because I’m not yet finished and must continue on where you cannot go yet.

      • I believe Jesus did rise bodily ! When He went up into heaven, on Pentecost, People saw & watched Him Ascend up into heaven, and an Angel announced His departure, and said, He would come back, as He left. Also every eye shall see him when He does come back, as King Of Kings..

          • Hello everyone! I’m new to comments first time. Dr. Eli Lizorkin, could you elaborate more on when Jesus ascended to heaven for ordination for seven days. The day when Mary couldn’t touch is the reason but after 8 days he invites Thoma. When did he completed his ministry in heaven?

        • Jesus’ Ascension, according to St Luke, in Acts 1:3, took place on the Fortieth Day, — not the Fiftieth, which is Pentecost. There is a strict count, “the Counting of the Omer,” kept on each of the days between Passover (Pesach) and Shabbuot’ (Pentecost), so there was a way for these days to be tallied correctly, which St Luke reports. The Apostles & those who were with them then kept nine days of prayer, in the same Upper Room, until the Day of Pentecost “had fully come,” i.e, the morning. An All-Night Vigil was customary before that dawn.

      • I need to make a comment or two on why Mary was not allowed to touch Jesus after his resurrection. What I do from time to time is read and re-read till I get the story line so I can understand what I read. I want to give you my storyline: Jesus has just spent three days in the place of Hell. And Abraham’s Bosom. First, in Hell where he took from the devil what Adam had lost to the devil. Then He goes to Abraham’s Bosom, delivers them and takes them with him

      • Wow, for the first time something so bizarre that it gives me great pause. Your explanation for thus,is too far out. A perfect Savior, a perfect sacrifice, nothing of this earth could change that.

      • Blessings, Dr. Eli, You are the only person other than myself to point this out. I also used Hebrews 9:11 and 12 plus 12:24. My understanding is that after His encounter with Mary, He stepped into the spiritual realm called heaven and entered into the holiest place “with His own blood”; and verse 12:24 sprinkled the true mercy seat seven times with His own blood. By this means He obtained “eternal redemption” for all humanity. There was no need for Him to be consecrated a high priest for seven days according to the Law of Moses. See Hebrews 7:15-17.

      • The idea came to me that although Jesus was not really ready to see the deciples..His Love could not keep him away from running back to see them to comfort them and give them the good news that he was still alive!

      • I believe Jesus was fulfilling the Feast of First Fruits. Mary could not touch Him because He had not been (waved) before the Father. The Israelites were required to wave their first fruits before the Lord, before the rest of the harvest could come in.

          • High priest must be ritually pure (no touching male or female) to present haBikkurim, Matt27:52-3. “Messiah, THE FIRSTFRUITS, those in Messiah at his 2nd Advent…”

        • Absolutely correct, Mary could not touch Yeshua because he had not yet ascended to the Father as a wave sheaf offering which he fulfilled on that Sunday as the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) waved the wave sheaf offering in the temple. Later on that Sunday the woman touched&worshipped Yeshua- Matt28:9-10

          • …the woman could now touch Yeshua ( Matt 28:9-10) later on that Sunday because Yeshua had returned from Father where he had presented himself as the wave sheaf offering ( …read both John 20:15-17 & Matt 28:9-10 to understand this.)

      • Jesus seemed to have a different ability to transform or transport His body before and after His resurrection. He could disappear into a crowd, He could walk on water, He changed on the mount of transfiguration. It almost seems He could transport Himself into a different location. Then After the resurrection, he entered into a “Shut-door” room as per verse 19 as if He walked through the wall. Your thoughts on this, please.

      • Thank you Dr Eli. There is another view that feeds off your analysis. Thomas and his fellow apostles were called to be priests with Christ the High priest. On Holy Thursday Jesus instituted a New Covenant (Luk 22) by offering himself body and blood in the form of bread and wine which his priests touched and ate after the consecration. When Thomas thus questioned the validity of the ‘Presence’ of the Lord the previous week, Jesus manifested the reality of His “true flesh” to the doubting priest Thomas (Jn 6:32,51). The ministerial male priesthood who consacrate the bread and wine ‘touches’ the holy elements FIRST, before the laity receives and touches it. Mary although a witness to the resurrection, represented ordinary priestly people. The resurrected Christ is made ‘real’ in the hands of the ministerial priest.

        • Henty. Your view fails. Jesus in the tomb 16th day. Thur. by modern calendars. A yearly Sabbath. women rested followed by a work day to purchase and prepare the spices then The weekly Sabbath again they rested. Jesus rose as The Sabbath was ending before the first day. tomb empty.

      • If it is about the purification(Mary) and the service of the priest, then what about statement in Matthew 28:9 where it is mentioned that the women held Him by feet and worshiped? Is there any other meaning for “held Him by feet”?
        I think the comment of “clinging to me” makes a correct explanation. These women “touched” Him the very day of His resurrection! I think the “purification” principle does not hold since He needs no purification like the human priests of the tribe of Levi(that too He is from Judah tribe).

      • Jesus said in John 20:17…but go to my brethren…Hebrews 2:11 thomas was a brother. Thomas didn’t recognize Jesus Christ as his LORD and his God whereas Mary did John 20:16(Matthew 23:8,9)Jesus Christ tells Mary that God is her Father and her God John 20:17. Mark 3:35

      • Sir, This could be the most shameful comment about the incident. He is Lord God incarnate in flesh. Nothing can defile him.

        • Hi, Bavani, I don’t think that it is shameful to say that Yehsua wanted to remain undefiled. After all, Hebrews 7:26 says just that. It doesn’t use the word undefilable, but rather undefiled. Now why would this verse marvel over our Priest for being undefiled if He were undefilable? But, do you want to provide a Biblical passage showing Yehsua’s undefilability?

      • The term use for “touch” in John indicates “clinging to”. “And Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by his feet” (Mat 28:7) would indicate this is not ritual purity issue, that was old Covenant issue, not Spiritual, “law of carnal commandments” not affecting Christ.

      • This is an awesome revelation. I knew that he had to go to the Heavenly Tabernacle to fulfill all righteousness but was ignorant of the fact of the fact that it took seven days to sanctify a new priest. WOW!

      • How do you reconcile Matthew 28:9 which states, “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him” with the idea that Mary couldn’t touch Jesus?

      • FR
        I agree with your commentarys Lev 8-35 say : Therefore you shall abide at the door of tabernacle of meeting day and night for seven days ,.....

        I agree with your commentary Lev 8-35 say the same as Ex 29-35

      • What a disappointing explanation! There is no barrier to resurrected Christ and he was not bound by any priestly law of the Old Testament. Further, this idea negates his atoning death on the cross. His divinity is also under question. very sad.

      • Mary could not touch Jesus as his resurrection was his rebirth and he was not dedicated yet to the father. Mary &Joseph dedicated Jesus to God 8 days after his birth. Gods law of dedication still applies in reverse. The dove and fire represent the Holy spirit.

      • I’d been taught as you’re discovering that THE HIGH PRIEST CHRIST JESUS had to ascend to HIS HEAVENLY THRONE to cleanse all of HEAVEN with HIS BLOOD OFFERING as the LAMB due to Lucifer’s rebellion. HE would’ve responded the same to any human wanting to touch him b4 ascending.

        • Do heavenly things need cleansing, Wendy? Rather the better way to understand Heb.9:23 is in the context of v.18. It is about how the priesthood covenants were inaugurated. The first (Aaronic) was inaugurated by animals’ blood which was sprinkled on the book, the people, the tabernacle and the utensils, but the heavenly one (Yeshua/Melchizedek) needed to be inaugurated with a much more precious sacrifice. The dwelling place of the most High cannot be defiled, and thus doesn’t need cleansing.

    • 4 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. … … ……15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are

    • …15“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven.… you see here that Jesus is not God,,to many people still think he is ,, i just came back from Israel and the Jews only worship the ONE TRUE GOD,, did Jesus part the red sea, NO, mary had her period, and was told not to touch

      • Dear Wayne, all I can say is “Oy Veyizmeir”. Because I can assure I know of thousands of Jews that do believe that he was both the Messiah and God. Now does it prove the point that Jesus is God? of course not, but so doesn’t the existence of a lot more Jews who don’t, prove the same. When you are in Israel again, stop by for coffee.

        • Hello, Dr. Eli, For a number of years I wondered how Paul could say that, “God created all things by Jesus Christ.” I realized that the man, Jesus, did not exist before he was born of the virgin Mary. However, it finally struck me that the Word which was with God and was God and that all things created were created by Him, the Word, and without Him was nothing created of all that was created, was that same Word made FLESH not spirit.

          • After many years of theological reflection, the community of faith settled on the conviction that the Son existed for all eternity with the Father. At the incarnation, Jesus became the God-Man which is a concept we will spend the rest of human history attempting to wrap our mind around.

        • I want to say thank you for your studies and your comments, but also for your kindness as you and your team reply to many of these remarks. Some that even seem to attack what you teach / believe. Again I say thank you and I look forward to much more study with Israel Bible Center !

          Shalom !

          • Dear Laymond, thank you for your kind words. Most times I am able to keep my cool, being a voice of reason, but I do admit that every once in an a while someone really can get me upset – usually not by disagreement with me, but how sure they about their grasp of the truth… this after all was the basic problem with the friends of Job. They knew a lot of truths about God but they overestimated the level at which they knew them.

        • I’ve been learning about the teaching of OT rabbis regarding the “Two Powers.” This teaching tells us that it was, indeed, Yeshua who parted the Red Sea, among many other things. We can see this idea clearly in the burning bush incident. I’m not yet well-versed enough to speak eloquently.

      • In John chapter 10, in a debate with the Jewish leaders, Jesus proclaimed “I and the Father are One”. (Hear O Israel, the LORD is One). In John 14 He told Phillip that the one who has seen Him (Jesus) has seen the Father. He lamented that those He came to save rejected Him (O Jerusalem, how I would have gathered you under my wings. Matthew 23). Zechariah 12 tells us that one day they (Israel) will look on the One they pierced and grieve. May God reveal this to you. Blessings.

        • What does it mean to say someone is another’s “God”? Can they be equal? Now, the resurrected Yeshua in Revelation of John, Chapter 3:12, refers to Yahweh as “my God”! And the apostles, in their epistles, also refer to Yahweh as “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (KJV). Yes, in John 10, he says he and the Father are one. Yet all saints are invited to the same oneness in John 17:21!

        • Again, he explains his witness of the Father in John 14:9-11 as the result of BEING IN the Father and the Father BEING IN him. Yet the saints are also invited to this BEING IN-NESS with both the Father and the Son. As he is a faithful witness of the Father (Rev 3:14), so are the saints to be faithful witnesses of him and through him, of the Father too! Then, whoever see the true saint has seen both the Son and the Father! But this does not make the saint the Son or the Father.

        • In sum, the oneness of the Father and the Son is a oneness of purpose, a oneness to which we are all called. It is not a onesess of same person-hood. No, the Father and Son are different. And the Father is the God of the Son, whom the Son called in truth, “the only true God”, in John 17:3. We should not allow some Gentile Christian desire to align Hebraic truths with Gentile mythology to pervert truth. For this reason, the song of Moses warns us Gentiles “destroy counsel and have no discernment” (Deut 32:28). Beware of leaven!

          • I want Dr Eli to say something on mahka comment is this platform just for the Jews/Judaism? I’m a Gentile Christian and believe Jesus is Lord

          • You bring up great points, Yahka. Thanks. I agree that we need to be picky about what attributes and characteristics that are common between Yeshua and God, and which are clearly different. To be overly general (Jesus is God / Jesus is not God) does not do it justice. In some ways they are one (in purpose, values and actions), and in other ways God is “in” Yeshua, or Yeshua is physical but God is not. Great points, indeed. Thanks!

        • Are we therefore limiting purity to menstruation only? Thomas could have been impure in many other ways. There us no specific mention of impuruty as related to menstrualion. That is only an interpretation based on other references elsewhere in the bible which was applied to this occasion. Impurity especially in this particular moment could have taken any form and for both genders. Interpretation the basis of many ills.

          • I think you are right. Remember we are talking about one possible interpretation. Perhaps, we should think of it not in terms of a woman being a problem (unclean issues) vs. a man (you are right both can be problematic, but when it happen BEFORE or AFTER Jesus performed his priestly duties in Heavenly tabernacle. Thomas comes a week later.

      • Jesus Himself, gave us the answer when he spoke to Mary: ” … … because I have not YET ascended to My Father in heaven”.
        But by the time he came to the disciples (later in the week??) and then later again to speak to Thomas, He HAD already ascended to heaven and returned to them in His glorified body.

        • Jesus’ body wasn’t Glorified until He sat down: Heb 10:12 vs John 17:1 & Isaiah 42:8. Now mere mortals are blinded: Acts 9:8-9. Rev 1:16 proves only John’s human spirit ascended to Heaven? Also Exodus 33:20-23 was Jesus mercy on Stephen in Acts 7:55? (No pain?)

      • There is no statement that Thomas actually touched Jesus’s wounds, but was invited to do so because of his doubt. The visible evidence would surely be sufficient to convince Thomas of Jesus’s identity.

    • There was in area in front of the door going into the holy place where the “women serving who served”. They were to scrutinize the priests after they had sacrificed the offering and washed at the laver (symbol of washing with the word). If any stain of blood the priests had mishandled the word of God. The women were to tell the congregation. To touch the priest would also have been contamination. Jesus never broke the law. Priests had to be judged by the women. Herod’s EVIL Temple had eliminated this area. The earthquake opened the court back up.

    • I am so Thankful for this forum , we all agree Christ is our Living Lord of Lords and he is risen
      for Gods Glory ….We can gather and learn from each other….How Blessed are those that seek with all their heart…..

    • Jesus didn’t allow Mary to touch him because he was the firstfruits from the dead. The wave-offering of the firstfruits of the spring barley harvest were presented as an offering to God in the Temple, was to occur that same day. Jesus would now replace that offering Lev 23:10-11

    • this is a bit tricky. I suppose when you are dead you can’t be more defiled than what you already are :-). But the resurrection is the key here.

      • Yes, the resurrection is the key. He is risen, and purified. If not, then what is there to look forward to in our own resurrection? If our own resurrected bodies are not purified, then they are capable of decay, and cannot reside in heaven with Jesus for eternity. This begs the question – could His resurrected body have been defiled? Perhaps not, but Jesus was, in His humanity (Wholly God, Wholly Man), the perfect embodiment of the lives we ought to live. He did not stop modeling human holiness at any point during His time on earth.

  1. Agree…
    I also had discussed with a Bible teacher many years ago.
    It seems that Mary Magdalane is the only person saw Jesus before He went to meet the Father. The others saw Jesus after He had finished His task and reported to the Father.

      • My comment. If Jesus is God albeit the second Person of the Trinity, he is clean/holy/sanctified/the sanctifier. But she did cling to him before he uttered these words. He told her to stop clinging to him ie let him go. However, she was told to go and tell the others the good news.

      • Remember Father God is a Holy Omnipotent and Omniscient Spirit and raised the Word of God which was manifest in the flesh from the dead..Jesus said I am the Resurrection and the Life. After Jesus met Mary He could easily fly to Heaven since is Lord and deposited His shed blood on the mercy seat in Gods presence in Heaven. Then Jesus returned to earth and could allow His disciples to touch Him and to spend 40 days with His disciples before He would leave for 2000 yrs and we wait for His glorious return the Lord of Hosts!

      • Are you/we saying that his 7 days preparation for the priesthood ran from Resurrection morning till the following Sunday morning, after which he ascended into heaven to perform as priest before descending to meet with Thomas and the others that same evening? I had thought that he already had to be priest in order to die as the sacrifice. My understanding was that Jesus did not want Mary to cling to him because he needed to teach all of them that he needed to go in order to send the paraklete. They would thereby gain more.

      • Thank you Dr. Eli. I found your inputs as well as from others refreshing and mind provoking. I am an emeritus pastor, who read Greek and Hebrew though on a small scale. Die to financial restraints it is not possible to enroll at this stage. But I still keep on reading your lectures. Thank you God bless you.

  2. Numbers 19:16
    Also, anyone who in the open field touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days.

    Both Mary’s were unclean. They entered the tomb. Why did Jesus disappear for a week? – It takes a week to ordain a priest.
    Exodus 29:35
    “Thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you; you shall ordain them through seven days.

    Leviticus 8:33
    You shall not go outside the doorway of the tent of meeting for seven days, until the day that the period of your ordination is fulfilled; for he will ordain you through seven days.

    Jesus said “I have not yet ascended…” and later will say “I now ascend to my father and your father…” This is said by a high priest when entering the holy of holies on yom kippur. (The TABERNACLE, by M.R. DeHaan, M.D., ISBN 0-310-23491-3, page 129.)

      • Seems to me that as the High Priest, Jesus had an immediate duty to fulfill. He had to present the wave offering of the first fruits of the harvest before God. ( I believe that would be those resurrected saints that were seen by many in the streets of Jerusalem on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread) He could not be defiled by her touch until this duty was accomplished and he must have done that as soon as she left Him. When the others came, on the same day, they were able to touch Him.

    • Jesus did not disappear for a week. He appeared to the 2 disciples on the resurrection day on their walk to Emaus as well as to the other disciples the same evening. I see a different reason why He asked her not to touch Him: He wanted to give the whole world the information that there is no such a thing as soul or spirit departing from the dying body and going straight to heaven. Therefore He stated it so plainly that He had not been with the Father yet despite of being dead for 3 days.

      • I agree. I’ve died twice. I stayed around and ‘watc’watched’ all that was going on around, to my body, that was quite far away as Jesus held my hand when I was 7 yrs old, and again at 29 yrs old, He stood always off, while I watched people resuscitate me. Then when I was stationed in Germany, March 1976, my grandma died in Michigan. Her spirit spoke to me, and told me not to cry, that she was, ok, our God and Lord is Great indeed !!

        • We on earth, have no access to or with the dead as noted in
          Luke 16:26-31; 24:27.
          Matt. 22:29-32.
          Ps. 115
          Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and you will be renewed in your mind.
          Amen.
          Be Blessed.

    • Dear Brickle,
      I think I should disagree with you in this. Psalm 110 clearly states: The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. So, Jesus was already a High Priest even before His physical death. God ad ordained Him to be one.

  3. Quite right – but this is hardly enigmatic for anyone who has read the Old Testament. Just as the passover lamb could not be defiled or the priest offereing it by anything “unclean” – nor could Jesus be touched before what many of us have called for years a “mini-ascention” where Jesus officially offered himself as the propeitiation of the sins of humanity. This is a wonderful truth but like all things in biblical schalarship – its not new. “There is nothing new under the sun”. But a wonderful posit nonetheless – thanks for doing so and well done!

  4. It seems certain that the event in John 20:17 is connected to the laws of clean and unclean, but I’m not sure it has anything to do with the Day of Atonement. Yeshua was crucified on Passover, 6 months before the Day of Atonement. There is another important event however that was connected to his resurrection, the offering of the First Fruits, which happens during the week of Unleavened Bread.

    Modern Judaism places this event on the 2nd day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the day after the Sabbath (Lev 23:11), but this timing has been disputed throughout history. Many place the timing of this offering on the day after the weekly Sabbath, which corresponds to the day Mary was told not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to His Father.

    We are told in Deuteronomy 26 that the first fruit offering was a reminder of the deliverance of the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt. The Israelites were in bondage as slaves but were delivered by the power of the Almighty to a land flowing with milk and honey. The purpose of Yeshua’s sacrifice was to deliver people from bondage to sin and deliver them to God’s Kingdom (Romans 6:16-19). Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 makes this connection in calling Yeshua the first fruits of the resurrection. Just as the Israelites were recognizing their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, the world was being delivered from slavery to sin and death.

    Yeshua’s presentation to the Father as the first fruits of the resurrection required Him to be in a ritually clean state, since the offering was to be presented in the Temple, in this case the Heavenly Temple. As you noted, Mary was unclean because she had been in a place of burial. Thomas touching Yeshua days later would have no effect, whether he was clean or unclean, since the offering had already been presented.

    Respectfully submitted,

    • I agree with James King. Also, to an observant Jew which Jesus certainly was, a woman was always potentially in an unclean state, so Jewish men did not touch them. And, they were in a cemetery. Mary may have already entered the tomb and come back out, and therefore she was ritually unclean in that respect too. But she did not know who Jesus was when she first saw , which gives us to wonder if perhaps Resurrection had somehow changed his appearance. Surely she would have recognized her Lord, whom she loved, had he looked the same as previously.

  5. Another alternative is this.
    Jesus’ identity in John’s gospel is what this text is all about. Characters come and go, all of them identifying Jesus in various and sundry ways – a teacher from God (3:2); a Jew and a Prophet (4:9, 19, 39); a “man called Jesus” (9:11); a sinner (9:24), et al. Most of them, except the man born blind (9:38), John the Baptist, Andrew, and Nathanael (all in chapter 1), don’t quite seem to get it. The lesson from John 9 is that unless one lets go of one’s certitude, admitting “I don’t know” (9:12), one might miss out on the fullness of the revelation of Jesus’ identity (Read 9:38 vis-a-vs 9:41).

    Mary Magadalene, when she finally “sees” its Jesus at 19:16, identifies Jesus as “‘Rabbounni’ which means ‘teacher'” – one of the many inadequate suggestions as to Jesus’ identity in this gospel. Thus, Jesus implores Mary to “Let go of me” may mean, “let go of who you think I am – a Rabbi/teacher.” “Jesus the Rabbi” is an identity that holds Jesus to the ground. Unless one “lets go” of Rabbi Jesus,” who one thinks Jesus is will never ascend to the heavens, where Jesus’ Father is – where Jesus is from (above!), and where Jesus was heading after his resurrection.

    • Mr. Michael Hedges, it seems you, James King and Michael Brickle seem to have been allowed to type out much more to express your position, whereas those as ourselves were given much less allowance (100 characters only). Quite interesting that is that you men are allowed to put down more than 100 characters while certain others can’t, which suggests such a fact would sure assist in maintaining a certain narrative of the reading of the Scriptures that benefits the position put forth by the article. Seems unfair & dishonest.

    • This idea sounds okay … … until you consider the reason that Jesus gave to Mary, i.e. “I have not yet ascended to My Father in heaven”. This reason would make no sense if He just meant to “let go of who you think I am”.

    • People were required to address the Jewish religious authorities as “Rabbi” – “Great One.” S’why Messiah said, …do not (yourselves) be called “Rabbi,” Matt 23:8.

      • Well, not all Jewish religious authorities. The title “Rabbi” had only recently been put into use during the first century. The context is that hypocrites loved to be greeted and honored as “Rabbi,” but we believers are each other’s brothers and we have only one Rabbi, Yeshua. (Matt.23:5-8)

        • Quite aware of context; limited word-count. “Rab” was around since return from Babylon. “Rabbis” were ordained by Sanhedrin, origin of which was approximately 200 B.C.

        • R. Yehoshua ben Perachya (Nasi of The Sanhedrin, latter-half of the 2nd century BCE) says, “Set up a teacher [rav] for yourself. And get yourself a companion-disciple. And give everybody the benefit of the doubt.”

          • This is not being used as a title though. The word rav appears throughout Tanakh meaning “great one” (captain, prince, elder, master, etc.), but it did not become a title until some time in the first century. Modern assignment of “Rav” to a teacher before that time is anachronistic, not backed by any ancient text.

    • Jesus himself reiterated John 13:13(Aramiac bible in plain English) “You call me ‘our Rabbi’ and ‘our Lord’, and you say rightly, for so I am.” Not only was Jesus affirming His position as Rabbi on earth, but He said, ” when the Spirit of truth comes, He will not speak

      • He will not speak on his own;he will speak only what he hears..(Jn16:13a) & “the Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you”(CEV)Jesus remains our ‘Rabbi’ forever(Heb 13:8). God bless you all.

  6. How could it be that “as a High Priest Jesus was soon to minister in the heavenly tabernacle on the Day of Atonement (Heb. 9:11)” when the Day of Atonement would be in the Fall and not in the Spring like Passover?

    • James, its been a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time :-). Good to hear from you! You and others who commented about First Fruits may be right. The point is not which Holiday, but that it is ministry in the tabernacle that requires ceremonial purity that is neither dismissed no denied by the Jewish Christ.

    • Jesus was not a Levitical high priest … He was not of the Tribe of Levi, nor was He a direct descendant of Aaron. He was (and ever is) a high priest forever after the order of Melchizadek … nothing to do with the duties of the earthly high priests. She was simply being told not to cling to Him (Greek Text) because He was still here, not having yet ascended to the Father.

      • the interpretive mistake you are making (if I may with all due respect) is that your conclusion goes too far as the position you are criticizing :-). The fact that orders are different certainly tells us that SOME things are different, but it is unwarranted to put the way you did (“has nothing to do”). Perhaps, you could give it some more thought.

        • My statement as to “…nothing to do…” is simply the fact that Jesus was not called to the priesthood duties of the Levites nor to the High Priest duties of the direct descendants of Aaron. Those Hight Priests offered the same sacrifice for sin (of the people and also for their own), year after year after year. Jesus offered His own blood, once, for the sins of the world, none of which were His own, and none of which were offered in the earthly temple. You used the word, “orders.” Was Mechizadek a “line'” of priests?

      • A High Priest without priestly duties is nonsensical. Messiah’s ascending to present First-fruits, the same day “Levitical” high priest presents firstfruits at the Temple..

  7. Is this how I get updates? Mary Magdalene saw two angels, not one (death & resurrection). I think I have seen this idea in God’s words to Moses, “Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance” (Deu 32:52). If I am correct then it is not Jesus that should not be touched, but it is Mary who has not been resurrected YET. I have always wondered how to say that seeing the revelation of the resurrected Christ is not the same as our eyes being opened completely (our resurrection aka building fences around the Torah).

    • How did this help me? The Hebrew language often reads different than the English language. Is Mary dead (not resurrected YET)? This is problematic in English because it creates divisiveness (leaves room for bias). Is Mary a sinner? Is Mary a saved sinner? How could she be a saved sinner without being resurrected? In the Hebrew language words work together. Can Mary both sin and be dead to sin (not resurrected YET)? And since I see God’s words to Moses as similar, is Moses being punished for sinning or could he both sin and be part of God’s plan.

  8. Very interesting article thank you.I am interested in the story of Lazarus with Mary and Martha and Jesus arriving late after Lazarus has died.Just interested in the use of “risen from the dead” in the case of Lazarus and other situations and of course in the new testament.Peace,Shalom and love and prayers for more love and peace on earth.

    • My understanding is that rising from the dead, as in the daughter of Darius and Lazarus, differs from resurrection. Coming back from the spirit world, called an NDE, is what Mary witnessed, demonstrating his tender love and mercy for her. For Christ to complete the sacrifice it required presentation to his Heavenly Father to perform the necessary ordinances a process that changed his mortal body into an immortal body. Had Mary touched him before these ordinances, he would not have been clean and thus unable to fulfil the requirements of the law of the sacrifice he just made.

    • Jesus didn’t arrive “late.” Lazarus was already dead, wrapped in his grave clothes and sealed in his tomb by the time the messenger reached Jesus with the message that Lazarus was sick. Not from Greek, not from Hebrew and not from special revelation. Just consider where Jesus was, and where Lazarus and his sisters lived, and do the math.

  9. Sad it is how many accept blindly the first direction they’re told believing it w/o considering a certain narrative put forth by the author which is always seeking to justify that which stands in opposition to what more profoundly was the intimation of what the Christ Jesus teaching. In this case; “Do not think, Mary, that by grasping hold of me so firmly (cf. Mat_28:9), you can keep me always with you. That uninterruptible fellowship for which you yearn must wait until I have ascended to be forever to on my throne as Father.”

    • This has been indeed a traditional Christian take on it and I don’t mind people holding to it. No harm done.

      • I follow not tradition. W/ all due honour, Jesus nor Paul used the word “Christian” for it’s a severe pejorative diminutive insult in the 1st century imposed on the Apostles + later disciples by pagan & heathen ‘theosis’ cults. I’m not a “Christian” (little deity/little king of israel), i’m simply a lowly adopted son, a servant, friend and brother of Jesus the Christ for before Jesus rose, the born again believer was a servant + friend of the Lord, but after He rose, born again believers become His younger brethren.

  10. Could it be possible that Miryam was going through a period of menustral uncleanness and was prohibited from touching Yeshua because as you said He was determined to uphold His High Priestly purity prior to ascending to the heavenly sanctuary where His Father is? The point about just entering the empty tomb is an interesting one but defilement has to do with being in contact with a dead corpse, not the area where it is located. If I am incorrect, please provide references from the Torah to prove your point.

    • Yes, James. there are all kinds of possibilities here. High Priest also could was kept from falling a sleep a day before service on Yom Kippur, so that he will not have a “wet dream” and not therefore be defiled for a period of time according to the Law. so there are all kinds of things that may have been at play.

  11. Dr Eli Alot of stones needs to unturned and i thank you so much,it meant alot to me both insight and sight of spiritual understanding. Bests Roland

  12. Have a question: Why you address the difference between the Story of Matthew and the story of John? One say one story and the other says a different story during the same even.

    • The story of Yeshua’s resurrection between Matthew and John contradicts what really happened. They are not the same story. One says; don’t touch me, and the other said; she grab his feet and bow to him. Look it up and make your own conclusion. Also I still don’t understand why many Christians and Jews still believes that Yeshua is God, it doesn’t make any sense. Yeshua himself didn’t know when he was coming back but the father does. Shalom!

      • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Hebrew: עִמָּנוּאֵל‬ meaning, “God with us”) John_1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John_1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. Joh_1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Joh_1:10

  13. It is interesting to read these comments as they clearly demonstrate a willingness to ‘meditate on the scriptures’ as we are encouraged to do in Psalm 119. Whatever the truth of why Mary shouldn’t touch Jesus, I am greatly encouraged that there are still Christians who are keen to listen to what He has to say through the scriptures :o)

  14. Top comment ” Nothing could be more defiled than a corpse! in one or other way. However, when Jesus resurrected it may well be assumed he arose in the ” new body”, hence being in a state of defilement could not have been the case”. It seems reasonable to illustrat the given jesus walked through the closed door, he must have been in the ” Resuurected body form!” as no doubt we are seemingly told, we too will put on this new body, as indeed, it would be necessary given life’s movements will be quite changed……….

  15. I always assumed that Mary Magdalen was ritually unclean simply by being an adult female, and so an observant Jewish man would not want her to touch him since he could be sure of her biological state. This is presumably why the woman with the issue of blood touched only his tzitzit and not him. Yet Jesus permitted the woman of ill repute (who was not Mary Magdalen) to anoint his feet, wash them with her tears, and dry them with her hair. So there seems to be a contradiction here. Jesus also sat and talked with a Samaritan woman.

    • If it were the way Martha says, then why would the Lord expose Himself to her? I think the Lord wanted her to take the message of His resurrection to His disciples and not to expose Himself to defilement by her.

  16. I don’t agree with this explanation as the resurrected Jesus had already fulfilled the whole law of Moses and the law was no longer relevant. In the full context of this Scripture, the most likely reason why Jesus told Mary not to touch Him, or as in other translations ” don’t cling on to me”, was probably because Mary didn’t want to leave and wanted to remain with Him, but Jesus told her not to hang on to Him there, but rather hurry up and go tell the other disciples that Jesus was risen.

  17. Why not connect this with the prohibition against coming too close to God’s Glory — in Eden (tree), on Sinai, in the tent and temple (ark)? My point is, if Jesus is the Glory of God (His Wisdom, Word, Power, Son), and no longer wrapped in mortality, then connecting with Him takes brief visionary experiences (e.g., Damascus), exegesis and Eucharist (as at Emmaus), a combo anticipating our own glorified state, when “we shall all be changed” and conformed to Him. What do you think?

  18. Many scholars point out that “Don’t touch me” also means “Don’t cling to me.” Mary wanted the kind of closeness she and the other disciples had with Jesus before his death and resurrection, but now that he is going to his Father and will give the Holy Spirit closeness with Jesus won’t depend on physical touching. Mary wants to hug Jesus out of affection but he has planned for her the filling of his Holy Spirit. She wasn’t in the Upper Room to hear what he said about his departure and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

  19. Just …maybe. The story is not a history; it is a rational (!) interpretation of data (here, earthly life of Jesus). Any textbook on Bible teaches that! For an example, Raymond E.Brown,RC Scholar, a member of Paul vi Pontifical Biblical Commision wrote plenty on it. “Historical” speculation on what happened after the crucifixion and death of Jesus from Nazareth has any value to what “really” happened; it gives already just an interpretation of the meeting with the resurrected Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:35nn) only his by disciples (also women) and later Paul/Saul. ps. Jesus is not and never was God (Mk10:18)

    • If we do not trust these stories than there is no point to discuss any of it. But I think majority of people in this forum do, as do I.

      • You did not understand me. I do not say I do not trust a story, here, resurrection stories. Any story has an objective and absolute message, here, the teacher, Jesus from Nazareth though killed he was confirmed to the chosen ones as alive! I want to point out that physically is useless to try to put in a sequence time events (resurrection accounters) which are described in symbols and pictures based on Old Testament and Apocryphal literature (Qumran also?).Sure, this experienced encounter with the resurrected “King ofJews” (Mark 15:27) must be conveyed to in some language (of a story).

        • Believe it or not 🙂 I did understand from the start and in this forum we welcome all opinions about Christ events as long as we stay clear and respectful. Blessings and much peace!

  20. Me sigue llamando la atención de que la mayoría que hace comentarios no tengan claro que a partir del bautismo de Jesús este se (transformó) o pasó a ser el Cristo. Por lo tanto deberíamos referirnos a ÉL por lo menos como Jesucristo, o simplemente el Cristo que es el que comenzó su apostolado o misión a partir del bautismo. Espero no estar muy equivocado en mi razonamiento. Un abrazo Shalom.
    (It still strikes me that the majority who make comments are not clear that from the baptism of Jesus this was (transformed) or became the Christ. Therefore we should refer to HIM at least as Jesus Christ, or simply the Christ who is the one who began his apostolate or mission from baptism. I hope not to be very wrong in my reasoning. A hug Shalom.)

  21. Many blessings to you Dr Eli, your exegesis on difficult issues of the Bible have been a great help to me. The Lord Almighty bless you.

  22. These are all interesting guesses but I read no comment from anyone who was there or was told by G-d or Jesus why He said that. We must be careful that we don’t assume a guess is a fact so that we don’t Theologies that are false.

    • I agree. We must be tentative when reconstructing history. Such reconstructions should be considered possibilities and probabilities, not certainties.

  23. Matthew 28:1 says Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the sepulchre. The angel they saw there invited them into the tomb to view the place where Jesus had laid (Matt. 28:6). In Matthew 28:9 both Marys hold Jesus by the feet. According to this article Jesus is now defiled before going to Heaven. Obviously then this is not the reason Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to touch Him in John 20:17.

  24. I suppose that Jesus did not like to be touched by Mary, bcause he took care of here to not defiled her. He was coming out from grave, he really was dead, and probably, he also had been at the hell. We Have got a very anigmatic information about it, but it is confessed in “Apostolic Faith”. It is not revealed what kind of impurity is given by visiting hell, but any way, impurity is not a sign, but should not be neglected.

  25. Dr Eli Lizorkin, with regard to your topic about Jesus’ instru tion to Mary not to touch him, in different languages is quite puzzling. In Latin it says “Noli me tangere”. English says ” Do not cling on to me”. Please tell me what are the Original Greek and Aramaic languages mean? I wonder if there is a question of linguistics or semantics! Fr Gamini Silva omi

    • Dear Father Gamini Silvaomi, shalom. Good to have you with us. Of course it is irrelevant what Latin translation/s says and what English translation/s, the most important is the Judeo-Greek (original NT Greek version). This Koine Judeo-Greek is ambiguous which is why all kinds of translations bend the text in whichever direction their theology allows or encourages them to go. Knowing a language does not necessarily tell the reader the ONE EXACT meaning, but instead it tells the limitations of variety of meanings (usually).

    • Fr Silva, Messiah wasn’t speaking, nor were his words recorded in, Greek: because they weren’t meant to be nebulous. Aramaic simply reads, “Don’t touch me.”

  26. All the comments are very interesting, please allow me to differ a little. The reason is found in Leviticus 23 : 10 – 12 .The CHRIST had to be accepted by the FATHER before any one could touch Him. Going to the Father and returning was instantaneous. It occurred at the same time the High Priest would be waving the sheath of the first harvest in the Temple…..The Sabbath after the Passover. The Christ died on the Passover, resurrected 3 days later, precisely 3 days and 3 nights. He was not resurrected on a Sunday even if the tomb was

    • “3 days” in Bible just mean a “short time after”. In NT for ex. 1Cor 15:3 refers to Hosea 6:2 as the event fulfilling OT prophecy as seen by the author,St.Paul. It is literally difficult to fit the timings of events in resurrection stories (not histories) if we try to use our physical scale of time.

      • it is interesting how you think that EVERYTHING in the Bible should be alegorized. I think it is a mistake. Somethings are of course allegorical, but many are physical and literal.

      • Krzysztof Ciuba You think 3 days and 3 nights Can’t fit the events? Not if you think Fr.i evening ( actually part of the Sabbath to first day? but the 15th was part of Wed today 16 is 1st day Unleavened Bread.17 work 18 weekly Sabbath Resurrection before Sunset. Fits

    • I agree Anthony ! Jesus Christ, died at 3:00 pm, and was probably placed in the Tomb around 4:00 pm. They would be pressed for time, as a Sabbath would start at sundown. ( The First Day Of Unleavened Bread), which would be Thursday. He died on a Wednesday and was resurrected close to sunset on the next Sabbath ( Saturday ). That why He wasn’t in the tomb, early Sunday, Morning. He said He would be in the heart of the earth 3 days & 3 nights. 72 hours !

      • Rebecca. Yes died 3.00. There’s more T.then Joseph had to know He was dead, then travel to Pilate who didn’t think so. Pilate sent Centurion to check. The Centurion returned to Pilate that Jesus was dead. Joseph then returned to site remove Body then into tomb just before sunset.

    • Thomas, wouldn’t that make the timing of this event match up with Anthony’s suggestion?

      If there is any importance at all to be attached to the apparent timing/overlaying of these events onto the festival-related calendar ( Triumphal Entry on lamb selection day, Crucifixion on Pesach sacrifice day, “Giving of the spirit with fire” on Shavuot, and even the possibility of Jesus’ birth during Sukhot, then it seems at least reasonable to ask if the Messiah’s presentation to God of the first fruits of his harvest might also have overlaid the waving of the new grain.

      • Agreed, Rebecca, Neville! He ascends to present haBikkurim (of the harvest/resurrection, Matt27:52-53) to the Father: “Messiah, the first-fruits,…those in Messiah at his 2nd advent,” 1Cor15:23..

    • Throwing Lev 23 into the mix makes the dating of the death and Resurrection of Yeshua Messiah interesting to me. 23:12 says “On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice” and v11 ” on the day after the Sabbath”. So Passover (death) and Shabbat (Resurrection) are confused?

      • Brian Confused? Don’t be. Died on Passover. In tomb just before First day Of Unleavened Bread. Yearly Sabbath. Women rested. The next day women purchased and prepared spices then rested on the weekly Sabbath. The tomb was empty when they arrived while it was yet Dark. Clear? No sunrise resurrection.

  27. I do not want to build on another foundation bit i do have a few thoughts. First, as Christ was the last sin offering to God it was not complete until he was received by God. Allow me to try and explain.. When a lamb was selected as the sin offering there was a specific sequence of events that were followed every time. If one follows the sacrificial narrative of Jesus with the OT sacrificial system in the back of your mind things begin to come to light. Second, as with the sacrificial lamb, there were specific sequential events……

  28. The OT sacrificial system, especially the sacrifice of the lamb without blemish, explains why Jesus could not be touched. I don’t have room here to go into detail.

  29. The true point is missed. What is this point? The truly spiritual aspect is left out why anybody becomes unclean after having been in contact with death or the dead to be more precise. First the physical: Death = germs=death, hence the insight of being unclean. On to the emotional: Death causes grief and a wanting to hang on emotionally to the departed. When Jesus appeared it was natural for Mary to assume that JESUS was back to take up full reign = wrong emotional orientation. Spiritual: Why the High Priest cannot be defiled: AT DEATH ALWAYS DEMONIC PRESENCE

  30. I need to add a little more about the spiritual aspect of why Jesus did not allow Mary to touch him before his presentation to the father, (GOD). From personal study and experience into the demonic world we need to remind ourselves that it is real, Satan is real, evil angels are real, demons are real. When somebody dies there is always a demonic presence, remembering that we were not created for death, but life. One report makes this clear. Satan contended for the body of Moses. Complex ? yes! Physical, emotional and spiritual issues need to be in balance.

  31. The Levitical priests had to spend 7 days in the tabernacle. Jesus spent seven days in the Temple at Passover at the age of 12. He was about his Father’s business. Early in life he was preparing for priestly ministry as also at his baptism ..a public induction. After his resurrection … spoke to Mary …. do not touch … He was to present to His Father to complete the mission. Two at Emmaus make up the three witnesses as Torah required. Was Yeshua gone to the Father for seven days fulfilling the pattern, before 40 days final ministry?

    • Why was he in such a hurry? :- ) All kidding aside, I appreciate your suggestion. And as I’ve said before, we always need to be open to other interpretive possibilities. However, I think this is a good example of where we have to decide which “Jewish Background” option best fits what’s going on in context. John clearly wants us to think of Jesus as Israel’s Heavenly High Priest (as also in Revelation 1) so I am inclined toward the option we suggested above.

      • Different interpretative possibilities? Rather: risen Christ takes us where we are and brings us to a new level: Emmaus 2, Mary, Thomas, etc. In fact he said to Peter none of your business what I reserve for John

  32. What does Zechariah 3:1-6 tells us. Zechariah 3: 1-6. ( Septuagint rendering) :1 And the Lord shewed me Jesus the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and the Devil stood on his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lords said to the Devil, 3 The Lord rebuke thee, O Devil, even the Lord that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: behold! is not this as a brand plucked from the fire? 4 Now Jesus was clothed in filthy raiment, and stood before the angel. 5 And the Lord answered and spoke to those who stood before

  33. Could this not be a matter of interpretation? Did Jesus tell Mary “…do not touch Me…”, or “…do not cling to Me…”. If the latter, was Jesus telling Mary not to [delay] Him because He was on the way to the Father?

  34. This explanation is the most logical, as well as Biblical, according to the same approach God gave to Moses when the details of how the tabernacle in the wilderness, then the actual two temples had to have the same details for the high priest entering the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur.

  35. Shalom Eli, If Yeshua, as the heavenly High Priest, which He was, was defiled by Mary clinging to Him, He couldn’t have offered Himself as the First Fruits of Israel to rise from the dead (1st Cor. 15:20, 23) to His Father. I think His being Glorified allowed Him not to be defiled. As Robert Haggerty said, it seems that Mary had already ‘touched’ Him with Yeshua saying to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father,” etc. (See also Num. 6:9; 9:6; 19:18-20; Dt. 24:4) for the seriousness of defilement.

  36. Surely as the Son of God, he would have supreme knowledge and wisdom and would see how ludicrous it was to think a woman unclean or defiled because she was menstruating. A function created by the Creator himself to ensure the continuance of the Huma race. There must be another explanation of his comment, or it was misquoted or inserted by those who thought that women were unclean. If the incident happened at all.

  37. Please see the original text the word used in Greek for “touch” is ἅπτου,(haptou). According to the context, Mary was so desperately looking for Jesus, the moment after finding Him again, He did not want to let him go and she fasten Him so tightly, but Jesus said to her that do not “haptou” me like that, I am still here and did not go to my father yet. Jesus was wanting to tell her that He has not yet ascended to Heaven so calm down.

  38. Interesting to see that a Jewish scholar uses the words of the Gospel According to John more literally than do I — and also the way in which people deal with “bodily resurrected.” Beginning with the latter, Jesus just comes into the room — the doors are shut — is not the writer suggesting that somehow it is not exactly a physical resurrection? And more to the point, is the Thomas story not more about “believe” than about an event? The Hebrew Bible certainly uses parables (e.g., Jonah), might not the Thomas story be such a story?

      • In the book of Matthew, it says that the two Mary’s were going quickly to bring His disciples word of what they had seen and were told when they met Yeshua. He said Rejoice and they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him. He said do not be afraid. Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and they will see Me. Since none of the disciples were at the tomb at the time both Mary’s were there then they wrote their own interpretation of what happened as at other places In the Gospels. See next

      • Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg Please Don’t be sorry. I accept not all will agree with me and accept I learn from those who don’t Even those who make no sense.God start out with us being LIKE a menstrual cloth then cleans us up and Teaches as we can understand over time

  39. With great respect Dr. Eli Lizorkin, look: If Jesus does not let Mary Magdalene touch him, and tells Thomas to touch him, it’s because Jesus is God and is on the Law, Jesus is more than the Law, He could have let Mary touch him, Jesus healed and touched the lepers to the dead, to the cripples. And never “contaminated” according to the Law. Reading the Bible literally can not be. Jesus scolds his disciples, telling them: Why do they have eyes if they do not see, and ears, if they do not hear? (Mc 8. 14-21) Read also (Lev

    • Dear Juan, the problem you are having getting your brain around this concept is in the falling. You are thinking Christianly on this subject contamination/sin vs. no contamination/righteousness, but in the Jewish system of thinking this is not so (we are even using HIGHLY negative words in our WESTERN thinking on this issue). These are entirely separate systems. So in other worse Jesus could have and in fact have many times in his life contracted the status of defilement, BUT IT DID NOT MEAN THAT HE SINS. Because defilement is not sinful, but simply limiting in some way. I hope

  40. I agree with Haggerty. “haptomai” also carries the idea of clinging to something. I can well imagine Mary’s reaction as she realizes she is talking to one who has just be raised from the dead. Her natural reaction would be to hug him tightly, not wanting to let him go. But Jesus says, “May, let go of me. I’ve got to go and see others.”

  41. Jesus was the Everlasting Father in the flesh as Isaiah prophesied would come to be. Its a possibility after Jesus the Word of God was resurrected with a new body He told Mary dont toch me because He was about to ascend to Heaven and offer His blood atonement on the Mercy Seat before the Spirit of Gods where His presence dwelt, then return immediately to Jerusalem to spend 40 days preparing His disciples and yes His mother brothers and sisters too for His departure.

    • Not sure you are right. I can see how it can be said that Jesus was Everlasting God in flesh, but Father? Isn’t that confusion of Father and Son? Please, clarify.

      • Some people think that the Word is a different person from the Father. But Jesus Himself said that “I and the Father are One”, as it is written “…. and the Word was God”. Thus, Jesus is actually the Father in the flesh and His Spirit, that is, the Word, is the part of Him that is the Eternal Father”. The Word is not the Son of God because the Word was “God” Himself and eternal, but the Man Jesus who died is the Son of God and the Heir to His throne.

        • Thank you for your comment Charlie. When Jesus prayed to the Father was he praying to Himself? Also, if the “Word” of God is God Himself, are your spoken words you yourself? Food for thought.

        • Actually Charlie, John 1:1, talking about Jesus says “the Word was WITH God and the Word WAS God. So John is saying that Jesus is the Word AND Jesus is God. And verse 3 goes on to say that “all things were made by Him” i.e. Jesus (the topic of the first 5 verses). That does NOT mean that God IS the Word, other than that each is part of the Trinity, the Godhead. Yet “In the beginning God created … …” (the Hebrew here for God being Eloheim – plural for God, so is talking again about the Trinity).

          • Maybe the Word is what emanates from God, just like speech emanates from us, and it is that word that took on flesh as Messiah Yeshua.

  42. Dr. Eli, I have one question which may sound humorous and emotional regarding Jesus’ telling Mary not to touch him. Is it possible that Mary’s “touching” Jesus was an emotional reaction to seeing her risen Lord and Master? It could be likened to seeing a loved one who’s been away for several months, that is, hugging him or her because you haven’t seen the person for so long.It’s as if Mary didn’t want to let Jesus go upon seeing him alive. Jesus’ reaction to being “hugged to death” would be akin to,”Stop holding on to me.” What say you?

  43. Consult the Greek. It means “do not cling to me.” He was only going to return temporarily and could not remain on earth permanently with his disciples. He must return to His Father and sit at the right hand to complete His priestly work. For 40 days only would He show Himself alive again by many infallible proofs!

  44. A wonderful topic, and a great discussion. The biblical content from page 1 to the last word spoken in the revelation of the Christ, when read and then re-read always highlights little nuggets that when we dig deeper normally reveal another deeper insight, so in that i believe we never stop learning, getting to know the risen Christ is a relationship that grows daily. weather or not the question of who touched who and weather it was right or not is a supposition, We are required to take care of our own salvation with fear and trembling.

  45. To add to my previous comment isn’t it possible that during the excitement the disciples got what the women told them mixed up? It’s been proven that during questioning several people who witnessed something will come up with different testimonies. Is it possible that this could be the case here also? Perhaps Yeshua Himself will clarify this for us when we get to be with Him. God bless you for the opportunity to speak our thoughts.

  46. Surely Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, was not from the tribe of Levi, so the rules and restrictions applying to cohens would not be applicable to Him. He is the only High-priest from the order of Melchizedek, king of righteousness.

  47. Christ was a holy sacrifice, the first human being to be resurrected to eternal life. His death (as the sacrifice for our sins) was symbolized in ancient Israel by the Wave Sheaf offering, which was offered at the beginning of the Spring harvest (Lev. 23:10-12). This duty was to be carried out only by the High Priest. If it were handled by anyone other than the High Priest, the offering would have been defiled (impure), rendered unacceptable to God. “Jesus said unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren,

  48. Men, especially religious men, need to get over this idea that women are unclean when they menstruate! If it were not for menstruation, men, nor women would be here. Does any educated person think that an eternal, all knowing God, would think that an essential function of one of his creations would be unclean? What nonsense! No more unclean than other essential bodily functions. This sort of interpretation, (by men) of the so called Word of God, has kept women subservient for centuries, by a patriarchal society, even unto today.This portrays God as petty,and more human than divine.

    • Ruth S., you’re assuming “unclean” is like “trash” or “putrid”. Wrong idea. It is not a value judgement but a ceremonial status , affecting worship/fellowship.

  49. Dr. Eli. There must be another answer, Yeshua can not be bound to the Jewish law, nothing and no one could contaminate the Messiah, neither the lepers nor the hemorrhoids nor the pagans. He is more than Mechisedec, He is the Son of God. So nothing and nobody could contaminate it. He was baptized only to teach us what we should do. We have to see the divinity of Yeshua. Not the earthly.

    • Jesus was “made sin with our sin” yet His “Nature” didn’t change. (Unlike Lucifer/satan, Adam before/after) Yet while Jesus was MADE SIN still He PLEASED God/fulfilled Scripture/Paid for our sins. (Jesus truly did the impossible!) Mat 19:26 John 13:36 John 10:35 Mat 5:17-19 (John 8:3-5??? HOW???)

  50. Another angle is that the risen Jesus has become the First of the First-fruits and so fulfilled the “type” – the wave-sheaf offering, that both as the offering, and the offerer (High Priest) – was presented to the Father on behalf of the people on the day after the weekly Sabbath (Sunday morning) in the Days of Unleavened Bread (LEV 23:9-11). Although Mary couldn’t touch Him then, He was able to be touched later on that same day as He talked and ate with the two disciples from Emmaus and the rest in Jerusalem (LUKE 24:28-43).

  51. In one Roman Catholic Polish translation there is written not “do not touch me”, but “not stop me”. That is small difference, but sound more logically. I do not know Greek language to say which version is more sincere. But, knowing we have today only Greek translation of forgotten original, we could suppose that such a small changes are result of language interpretations.

  52. Interesting to hear that Mary was ritually unclean, so she couldn’t touch Jesus. Please also refer Song of Songs (Solomon) chapter 3:1-4. This will give us some context. The gospel of John writer (community that wrote it), explaining the scene at the tomb in light of the above passage. The Risen Lord advising Mary not to ‘cling’ to him in a bid to keep him (maybe to take him to her mother’s home), as He has to ‘be in Father’s business’. He commissions her to carry the message to disciples – be an apostle

    • Amazing how interpretations can alter a whole meaning including punctuation as in a simple comma. . For instance; This I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise….. Today you will be with me in Paradise……

        • I like Desmond’s reference to Solomon’s Song of Songs because the Woman lets go of Solomon as her heart is awakened as the Stag sings. In her search for her Lord, her bridegroom, her gardener (Ps. 128:3 ) the Woman in John alludes to the Gazelle of S.O.S. Peter is her Stag, her Lord. She remains unclean until her wedding when the bride and groom are both purified of their past mistakes and brought together, as pure as newborns… After the Rabbi reads the contract. Then the twins are led to a private room for a few moments of intimacy.

  53. Mary seems to be saying in her heart “Who will descend”. One would think she needs to repent (the kingdom of heaven is near), but Jesus called her by name (Isaiah 43:1-3?) and she turned and heard his voice. So it’s not the kingdom of heaven that was near, it was the word (rhema) that was near (in your mouth and in your heart)? What is the difference between the kingdom and the temple?

  54. Dr Eli, thank you for your helpful interpretation. My question concerns how it is reconcilled with Matthew 28:9 which indicates that the women at the tomb “held Him by the feet”- KJV and “clasped his feet and worshipped him.” NIV

    • Bob, hi. I agree this may present some challenge to the reconstruction (possible) that I suggest. I can see that it is also very possible that although it seems to be describing immediate post Resurrection, this may not actually be so since it may be understood as a pre-ascension description: “But as I looked at the text 8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them [b]and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. 10

  55. A better translation of the word for “touch” helps clarify things. The Greek is haptomi, which in this context means “to fasten one’s self to, adhere to, cling to.” One can easily visualize Mary running to her risen Lord and literally clinging to him out of joy. Nothing in the text that suggests Mary “attempted to hug” the Lord and was rebuffed. Rather, he was exhorting her that he would have to go to the Father before he would return as reigning King. Jesus was simply saying, “I have to go home before I come back for you” (John 14:3).

    • Hi M. It’s a bit pedantic to make a huge distinction between “cling to” and “hug” and the etymology of a word is a crucial component of good Bible study – but it is just one component of good Bible study. Ultimately, as many a hermeneutics professors will agree, “Context determines the meaning.” In other words, what matters is how the word is used in content. You present a possible scenario but that alone does not make it the correct interpretation.

      • Hello E. “Cling” and “hug” are certainly synonymous. But that is not the point of distinction. “Clinging” is also used in the emotional, relational sense. If a loved one—such as a spouse or child—miraculously survives a death-defying ordeal, you are not going to easily leave their side. Nor would you “allow” them to leave abruptly for a journey or destination that will take the rest of your life! And yet, that is precisely what Jesus was communicating. In context, then, the Lord was simply reminding Mary of his eternal purpose; not that she was “unclean” and forbidden to touch him.

  56. It’s my understanding that “holding Him by the feet” is a Greek idiom which refers to delaying Him, not necessarily to His being physically touched.

  57. In 1 Chronicles 16:22 It was the LORD who allowed no one to oppress them saying “touch not my anointed ones.” Then it continues saying tell of his salvation and glory among the nations. Could “do not touch me” mean it is Jesus’ authority that allows Mary to go to the others and tell them.

  58. Jesus was most definitely resurrected body and soul. In Luke 24:13-ff, Jesus joined some disciples on the road to Emmaus. In verses 41-43, “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.” If he had no body he could not have eaten.

  59. Jesus was fighting off demonic demons or evil spirits is also one of the reasons Mary could not touch him. Thomas saw how Jesus was both a man and a body of light.

  60. My question has always been- Did Mary touch Him or not? “Don’t cling to me” gives the impression that she did? Would that one touch render ‘unclean’? Thanks for your answer.

  61. The confusion seems to reign supreme, from the various opinions /comments given. Firstly where did Jesus go to be ordained a priest for that period of time, and secondly then to become a Jewish High Priest? When Jesus was on the cross, he “yielded up his spirit”.When Mary sees him he is not yet ascended, the question is how long did it take for Jesus to be united with the father, as after roaming on earth for a further plus minus 40 days he then ascends? Did it take place 3 times the ascension/ unification of the spirit.

  62. It is not necessary that our assumption should be right always. Some people think it is revealed by the Holy Spirit and others say, it is the Spiritual meaning. Why cant we take it in the simple way it is written there? John 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. ” Period. Just understand the reason why Jesus said to Mary not to touch him from His words??? Pastor Santhosh

  63. With respect to “touch me not,” it has been pointed out that the Greek “haptomai” does have the connotation of “cling.” I can just picture Mary’s complete astonishment when she sees Jesus. Her natural inclination would be to hug him tightly. He had “left” once, and she didn’t want him to leave again. “Mary, please let me go. There is much to do, so go tell the brethren that I have risen and will ascend.”

  64. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg, I enjoy your articles so much. I read and know what you are saying is true as I have read and understood always that Mary could not touch Jesus because He had not ascended to heaven yet. How is it that some of us know without being told where others need it explained? I believe it is because our eyes have been opened to see what G-d intended us to see in His Words. Your thoughts please. Your Sister in Christ, Rose

    • Shalom, Rose. Well, what can I tell you? As Paul reminded us, we all see through a glass dimly. Some days are just a little bit clearer than others : – )

  65. In all my life, I’m going to be 74 this year, have I not once came across any preacher or teacher who considered John 20:17 in relation to John 20: What exactly happened in the time period from verse 17 and verse 27 ? Is your perspective the right one ? Shouldn’t we consider Zechariah 3: 1-6 regarding John 20:17. Zechariah 3: 1-6. ( Septuagint rendering) :1 And the Lord shewed me Jesus the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and the Devil stood on his right hand to resist him.

  66. So they placed a pure mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments: and the angel of the Lord stood by. Doesn’t this talk about what The Lord Jesus had done for us. He soiled His garments with the filth of humanity to redeem us. No human high priest has ever soiled His garments thru sacrifice. Or have they? Please consider and comment on this rather enigmatic verses.

  67. Thank you for the article. When is the ceremonial law done away with, then? If Jesus was keeping it even after the resssurection, was it done away with after then?

  68. In the account of the resurrection where there are two angels at either end of the place where Jesus lay could it be that this is symbolised in the Ark of the Covenant – two cherubim and the mercy seat???

  69. Hi Dr Eli. I’m doing some research on the Historical Jesus. I need to know your opinion on (1) the languages spoken by Jesus (2) whether or not Jesus was illiterate. Thanks a lot for the help! Flavio Lopes, RJ – RJ – Brazil flavioferreiraadm@hotmail.com FLAVIO LOPES

    • Of course Jesus was literate. I don’t think anyone serious is thinking otherwise. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and some Latin (his languages).

  70. Dr. Eli, I am sure I responded to this Blog, however, I am unable to find it. I had a few more thoughts on this. I get a little confused with the Mary’s but here goes… 1. When JESUS said Mary’s name, she KNEW it was HIM and HE had ‘definitely risen’. It was relief knowing, what HE said HE completed, even though she wanted to hug HIM. 2. Thomas had ‘doubts’, requiring answers. What better way for JESUS to resolve ‘all’ his doubts and bring complete assurance/trust to HIS disciple…’Thomas, here, touch.’ Two different needs met.

  71. The resurrection day was also the day the High Priest waved the sheaves of grain of the first fruits of the harvest before the Most Holy Place, presenting the grain before the Lord in order to show faith in the harvest to come. Matthew 27:52, 53 tells us that many were raised and appeared to many that day as well. They are not mentioned again. Our High Priest had to present them to the Father! He had to be undefiled to do so, as Dr. Eli clearly stated, but not for Yom Kippur, but for Bikkurim!

  72. Here are some thoughts and questions I have. Yeshua was a priest of the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. He was a priest from before the Aaronic priesthood was instituted. It was He who accepted worship from Abraham. Did Yeshua have a need to be ordained? Was he acting as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek? Because Yeshua was a descendant of Judah and David, and not a descendant of Aaron through Zadok, he could not have been ordained an Aaronic high priest. Do the rules applying to the Aaronic high priest apply to the Melchizedek high priest?

    • Shalom, Mark. These are good and legitimate observations/questions. I think the mistake most people are making is this: while correctly affirming that Jesus’ and Levitical priesthood are (very) different, they do not realize that they are also (very) similar! Indirectly, what gives it away is his resurrected appearance in the Book of Revelation (there is a lot of similarity with the dress of the Aaronic priest). The conclusion should not be that Jesus was priest in order of Aaron (of course he was not!), but he was not a clerk in the bank, he was a Jewish priest!

  73. So, are you saying that Jesus went into the Temple and Holy of Holies after His Resurrection, or did He meet with the Father somewhere else. If He went into the Holy of Holies then was this a Unique time and situation, because the Ark is not present?
    This seems to make sense, I do like it, but it has loose ends to tie up…
    Jesus is Glorified at this point, so not only does He know all things but He is aware of Ha Shem living in Him. So what is the Point of Him going somewhere else to meet with, that which lives in Him, Ha Shem? I know most don’t worry about this, but never the less, it is true…

  74. I’d like to believe this– we do need an explanation of Jesus’ enigmatic comment to Mary. But is it really about his purity–seven days of cleansing before he could present himself to the Father in a priestly role? Is this a real delay for purification or symbolic? You say Mary had entered the tomb, and this contact with death contaminated her. But she entered a tomb with neither corpse nor bones. Were the men/angels seen in the romb defiled by being there? You mention menstruation… Mary more than anyone knew if whe was in niddah for that reason. If she was, I suggest she would not even have attempted to touch the risen Jesus. In his lifetime, Jesus touched “lepers” which no one did without being defiled; he raised a twevle year old girl by the hand; he was touched by a woman defiled by blood issue; he touched the bier of the dead youth from Nain. None of these actions rendered Jesus defiled or in need of cleansing over a period of time. Much as I feel a need for explanation of Jesus’ words to Mary, I cannot see that a week of purification before a priestly consecration meets the need.

  75. Shalom. I think the reason why Yeshuah told Miriam not to touch him was because she is ceremonially unclean. Yeshuah rose on the 3rd day and Miriam was part of the burial party that buried Yeshuah and have been in mourning and have not yet completed their unclean mourning period. As Yeshuah is Kohen Ha Gadol is is forbidden to touch anything associated with death.

  76. Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
    This verse in context with the previous verses indicates that he was touched on resurection day

  77. …in Like 24, the same day as the resurrection, the two men on the way to Emmaus encounter the Risen Messiah… When they recognized him in the breaking of bread they return to Jerusalem the same day… As they were discussing their experience suddenly the Lord was in their midst

    Like 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.”

    He invited them to touch him… seeing as how he wasn’t a priest from the levitical order but Melchizedek, why would the same rules apply?

  78. Karl Bart said that the Bible is like a pool shallow enough for babies to play in and deep enough for Theologians to drown in it. Thanks for trying to interpret this. To answer this is speculative and all attempts seem to feed the debate. But thanks for trying to resolve the issue. I bet the earliest Jewish reader would not have found it strange. It could also mean that it was two oral traditions with two different purposes mingled in one story. each with its own purpose. One to accentuate Jesus in his Priestly role ( Story with Mary) and Jesus willingness to lead Thomas the doubter to faith and witness of a resurrected physical glorified body. ( he appeared in a locked room and they could touch him. ) All previous resurrected people are destined to die again and did.

    I

  79. I’d once read an explanation of this verse which makes much more sense to me than Dr. Eli’s explanation, interesting and thought provoking though it is. Mary was clinging to Jesus with the fear that he would leave again. She was so excited by seeing him that she grabbed hold of him like a mother would grab her child after he’d been lost and then found again. What Jesus was saying to her in essence was – using modern terminology – “there’s no need to hold on to me, I’m not leaving yet.”

  80. I would like your curses, but sorry I don´t hear and understand good. Therefore it is for me impossible to join. Your explanations are very nice. I too like it. Jesus was the Son of God, he was a man, He became at the baptizing the might of the Holy Spirit from God his father. On the cross died as man. Wish you many success.

  81. Shalom dr. Eli, I am Afrikaansspeaking, but enjoy your teachings. I learned a long time ago to understand how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit can be One. It is like a candle which is wax, a piece of rope and a flame. If you take it apart it is just that, but together it is a candle. The one cannot function without the other. If I may explain it like God is the Wax, Jesus the Wick and the Holy Spirit the Flame. I hope you understand! Blessings from South Africa.

    • Thank you Hestelle for joining the discussion. There are many creative ways to try and understand the relationship between the Father, His Messiah, and the Holy Spirit.

    • A better explanation (in my opinion) is Steam, Water & Ice. Three different “substances” with different “uses” but all are H2O. In fact, Ice can float in the Water but still both are the same molecular make-up i.e. H2O.

  82. The Bauer-Danker Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament translates the word “touch” used here in the KGV and other versions as stop clinging to me. He had other business to do. I think that “do not touch is a wrong translation of this verb. Look at NLT, NKV, NIV, NAS, ESV among others translate it that way.

  83. Jesus would not be defiled by being touched by Mary be she menstrual or other. He had absorbed all the defilement and evil in the world on the cross and taken everything the dark powers could throw at him. He was a High priest from the beginning (Gen 14) and didn’t need 7 days of ordination. The scriptures show heaven and earth joined that’s where God’s temple is Rev 20/21 Jesus isn’t priest in some Platonic far away heaven he is High priest on the co-joined heaven and earth now and will be revealed in His fullness and glory soon.

    • The earthly temple and its rituals are derived from the prototype in heaven (Ex. 25:9, Heb. 8:5). If Aaron needed 7 days for his ordination, then it is reasonable that the heavenly priest also did. Yeshua is seated at the right hand of the Father, and Heaven and Earth have not yet been co-joined. If they have been in your part of the world, then please send me your address! 🙂

      • I recommend a most significant and “turn key” scholarly book by David Moffitt called Atonement and the Logic of Ressurection in the Epistle to the Hebrews. So many points in your comments are discussed. As to your’s here, his priestly role was not like Aaron (not tribe of Levi), but after the order of Melchizedek. Therefore, perhaps did not need 7 day consecration but was established through resurrected glorified body. Then that blood and body offered in heaven. But when?

  84. to the age of truth and fellowship of truth, the reason is the holy flesh of jesus have not yet quickend into a quickening spirit (or the mortal flesh not yet turn immortal and and incorruptible fles) lastly to ascend and be united with the father. proof: Jesus appeared (w/o tomas) inside closed door room, apeared second time (closed door room now with tomas). tomas shouted “my Lord and my God! why? Tomas sees his Lord but cannot touch like God (a spirit). Jesus eateth, proof Jesus is now a quickening spirit (can be seen but cant betouch)

    • Hi Arthur, I would direct you to Luke in Acts 1:3 where it says Jesus presented himself alive to his disciples by many infallible proofs (one of which is probably eating, cf. Luke 24:41-43) and then spent 40 days with them. I am confident that this demonstrates that He was not a spirit. Concerning when Jesus was incorruptible, why shouldn’t it be from the moment of resurrection (Acts 13:34-37)?

  85. Jesus must have ascended to heaven right after He spoke with Mary when He said , Touch me not for I have not yet ascended to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.” Mary went her way to tell the disciples she had seen the resurrected, risen Lord. He immediately ascended to heaven to finalize His priestly in the Tabernacle in Heaven (Hebrews 9) and then immediately came back again and met the women on their way to the disciples. Matt. 28. at 28:8

  86. John 20:17
    Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:

    Correct translation: “Do not cling to me, for I have yet to ascend to my Father…

  87. Be careful my friends, to say that Jesus rose in any body other than the one that was placed on the cross (a glorified body) is a akin to or at the very least dangerously close to Gnostic heresy…

  88. IMHO, Jesus is our High Priest through his death. So in his ressurection he is already a High Priest, no need at all to follow the Law of Moses (Torah), like 7 days to ordain a priest

    • Yes Jesus became High Priest in Heaven (after which the earthly temple was a pattern), but how does that nullify anything? If there was no need to follow Torah after Yeshua’s death, then why did Yeshua present His blood for our atonement?
      Matthew 5:17-19 does not allow for annulling Torah. Torah is what lays the foundation and definition for Messiah. Take that away, and Messiah (as well as the prophets and writings) has no leg to stand on, biblically speaking.

    • Thomas and his fellow apostles were called to be priests with Christ the High priest. On Holy Thursday Jesus instituted a New Covenant (Luk 22) by offering himself body and blood in the form of bread and wine which his priests touched and ate after the consecration. When Thomas thus questioned the validity of the ‘Presence’ of the Lord the previous week, Jesus manifested the reality of His “true flesh” to the doubting priest Thomas (Jn 6:32,51). The ministerial male priesthood who consacrate the bread and wine touch it first so that we may belief that it is Him!

  89. Shalom Dr.Eli
    He have Optical body ,the optical is different with the light , His corpse is clean and clean spirit .The mediator of divine divine is from the universe of Lahu to the Almighty.he was born from Marry but Its nature and its generosity is diffrent Marry I like more explain about him but can not say about him in English and speak about him very hardly.
    Thanks

  90. While I very much appreciate what you have said and would certainly like to see it pointing to a typological truth in what Jesus said to Mary, I have always thought that the main thrust was that with the resurrection of our Lord an altogether new way of communion/fellowship with Him was beginning. As Paul said ‘Even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer’ (2 Corinthians 5:16). Mary was wanting to cling on to the Jesus she’d always known, and that could never be. The resurrection meant a new creation.

  91. My understanding from a Messianic Jewish Rabbi is, that Yeshua was tending to both the needs of Mary and Thomas…Mary wasn’t just touching Yeshua, she was clinging to him for dear life. Mary needed the faith to let go, but Thomas needed the faith to hold on.

  92. The Lord didn’t want Mary to touch Him because He was risen like Lazaras. He asked Thomas to touch His resurrected body, not the body He was in when He died. Would not Mary be defiled Mary as recently had touched a lifeless body? “I have not yet returned to My Father.” This has to be “the first fruit” w all the marks from the crucifixion. This makes me very excited because I not only will be in an incorruptible body but will have returned to the Lord Jesus when He returns physically!!!

  93. Thank you so very much for the article. It just made my day, figure of speech beside the dark rainy day rest. I’ve been “feeling” like separated from God. Shalom & Blessed 2019!!

  94. The Greek tense used is called “ingressive” aorist and the verse should be translated: Stop clinging on to me”, Mary did not want the Lord to leave as He had just rose from the dead. She was overcome with her emotion but then she understood His mission and reported his resurrection to his disciples. The Lord was always pure. The sick lady touched the hem of His garment and was healed. He touched the leper and he was healed. He never had to be purified as He was always Jehovah the Son of God.

    • You’re saying that “it is finished” can only mean that Jesus finished his work as High Priest? Maybe He finished His work as the suffering Messiah.

  95. If Jesus had not completed His work on the crosss as a high priest then why did He cried out “it is finished” please clarify

  96. “For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts your thoughts” Isaiah 55:9.KJV.
    This debate is a distraction from Faith. We cannot know exactly God’s ways.
    Just Believe His WORD. Both incidents are true; Not allowing Mary to touch Him. And later, allowing Thomas touch Him. God is a Mystery that we humanswith our feeble minds, cannot comprehend. However, He gave us just enough to follow Him. Enjoy Him. Don’t question His Words.
    God Bless all.

  97. Great Hebraic insight to simply and wonderfully make the connections in GOD’S Word, into what some possibly consider a seeming contradiction. It further highlights the finality of Jesus as The High Priest for all. Thanks Dr. Eli.

  98. Some of the discussion here made me look again at the passages to do with this. Lots of ideas to look at. It was Josef of Ramatayim who took the body and wrapped it, with Nakdimon providing 70 pounds weight of spices. After the stone sealed the tomb, Miryam from Magdala and the ‘other’ Miryam sat opposite the tomb. The ‘other’ Miryam seems to be the mother of Yacov and Yoses. The body was prepared by the men/their servants as women cannot prepare a man for burial. After the Resurrection I wonder what happened to that 70 pounds of spices.

  99. Please take into consideration a couple things. First, Jesus was not a Levitical High Priest; but after the order of Melchizedek. The requirement of the Levitical priesthood would not apply to Jesus; and we don’t know of any requirements to be in the order of the Melchizedek priesthood. Secondly, Jesus is God and could not be defiled by touching a sinner or an unhealthy person. Sin or a sinners touch cannot affect a holy God. The healings Jesus did never defiled Him in any way. Otherwise we have a problem with Jesus’ impeccability.

    • Good points. True, the initiation into the Levitical priesthood could have been completely novel and without precedent, but more likely is that there were parallels to other priestly orders. Just because Yeshua was not Levitical does not mean that he was not required to undergo a similar initiation process. Does an unchanging God require inconsistent processes of commissioning a priest?

  100. A. T. Robertson in his Harmony of the Gospels has a different interpretation – that Jesus is not saying “Don’t touch me,” rather “Don’t cling to me.” And your comments about the high priest becoming unclean don’t jive with the fact that Jesus allowed the women to touch his feet, and TOLD Thomas to touch his hands and side; I don’t think Jesus was playing games with Thomas and would tell him to touch him if he didn’t really mean it. W. R. Nicol in Expositor’s Greek commentary concurs with A. T. Robertson. I go with Robertson and Nicol.

    • 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago… is of course does not deny that he was ALSO going up to the father to minister in the heavenly tabernacle.

  101. Man as a creature doesn’t like change and the thought of losing Jesus again was one the Mary could not bear. Thus the “thought” of the embrace. Could Christ’s statement to Mary, “don’t cling to me” be a statement to her that “Do not fear the loss of me for some changes are for the good. Be witness to this change for the good of all mankind.”?

  102. The correct wording in John 20 should be:
    v17 Jesus to Mary, stop touching me (the idea of clinging)
    v27 Jesus to Thomas, bring your finger to my body parts
    Thus 2 different actions and not as the versions translate it.
    If the exegesis relates to ceremonial impurity, then the the cross was not sufficient to usher in the new covenant. Oh, and the apostle Paul knew none of this too.

    • Graham, it seems that you are equating ceremonial impurity with sin. They are not the same. Being ceremonially unclean is never given as a cause for repentance or atonement.

      • Correction: Lev. 16 (Yom Kippur) specifies such atonement. However, it is the altar and Holy Place being cleansed because of [accidental?] contamination by people’s uncleanness.

  103. Wasn’t there a view that Mary in a natural surprised reaction grabbed Jesus partly to assure herself that he was not a wraith but really Jesus in the flesh; and that His comment was bringing her back to the reality evidenced by her eyes and ears – an amused rebuke, like “hey, relax, it really is Me, not a ghost” ?

  104. My previous comment relates to Dr Eli’s “Why couldn’t Mary touch Jesus?”.
    Thank you Dr Eli for your posts.

  105. I must disagree with anymous.
    Jesus came as a man and will always be a man.
    I am a gentile but for years have tried to read and study from a Jewish perspective.
    You are absolutely correct that Jesus had to remain pure and undefined till he entered the temple in heaven and approached the Father.
    Enjoy receiving your emails.
    Come Lord Jesus
    John G.

  106. Honoured Sir,
    My grateful thanks for your enlightening explanation of this incident in The Life of Jesus.
    Yours faithfully,
    Helen Welch

  107. Jesus [a Jew] was of the order of Melchizedek, not of the Levitical order [Hebrews 5:6, Psalm 110:4]; therefore, Levitical requirements not applicable to Jesus. Jesus literally told Mary: “Cease clinging to Me” [John 20:17]. She more than touched Him; she clung to Him in great joy as did the other women [Matthew 28:9]. Why did Jesus not allow Mary to cling to Him? Because Jesus wanted her to see Him as God, not just as a good man. He had to fulfill Daniel 7:13-14. Fulfilled, He returned & Thomas said: my Lord, my God [John 20:28].

  108. Is it not possible that Jesus had to present his blood to the Father. “Without the shedding of blood there is ……

  109. Unless I have missed it, when Jesus invites Thomas to touch His side, Thomas doesn’t – his reply is “My Lord and my God!”

  110. Very interesting, I hadn’t heard that before. Some teach Torah ended on the cross. This indicates Jesus keeping Torah post crucifixion.

  111. At Feast of First Fruits, the priest will present offering to God. Jesus,arose,17th Nissan,UNDEFILED, presented Himself to God as First Fruit of the harvest

  112. I am so glad this article was not discriminating, no one could actually touch Jesus because the timing was wrong. Mary couldn’t touch him because of His non-ascension to the Father and Thomas had to wait past 8 days before he could touch Jesus. Timing was a big factor in Jewish tradition, is that why the Father made time for man?

  113. First the day of Atonement is in the 7th month not around Passover. Next Jesus had no apparent problem on the same day with the 2 disciples He met on the road to Emmaus which poses a far greater question; Why were 3 Jews on their way to Emmaus during

    • Thanks for posting Chris. No one is saying that Atonement is around Passover time. Read carefully. Just as the Levitical priest had to guard himself from touching a woman with her cycle or someone who came in contact with the dead before serving in the Temple, so Yeshua had to guard Himself before serving in the heavenly temple. The Emmaus road episode doesn’t involve women, graveyards, or touching at all for that matter.

  114. If the Word became flesh, the flesh also can become Word, since nothing is impossible for God, the Creator of everything. The resurrection and appearances events happened real to the believers as Altered States of Consciousness which is beyond the sensual understanding. The begining of creation stories started with Word

    • I disagree, Thomas. I think Jesus gave many physical proofs (sensual) to evidence His resurrection. And altered states of consciousness are isolated and individual experiences, not group experiences as was the case with the Apostles.

      • Thanks Dr Eli. But ASC experiences can also happen to groups in the same polyphasic cultures as John Pilch explains in his Neuro-Anthropological explanations. The salvation history begins in Judaism irrespective of the gender and extends to the whole humanity until Christ’s 2nd coming for final judgement in this world

        • I’m not convinced by John Pilch’s argument, but at any rate, it still would not satisfactorily explain the conversion of cynical James (Yaakov) the brother of Jesus and of Paul, the vehement enemy of the Jesus movement, who both all of a sudden became devout believers in Jesus even unto death. His theory is a remix of the 19th-century hallucination theory, but if it convinces you that 500+ people had a shared hallucination, then I think you have more faith than most people.

  115. I think the answer is in Jn 20:15. “Thinking he was the gardener…” This was on First Fruits and, as the High Priest, he was about to take a sheaf from the aviv to the Temple in Heaven. The sheaf possibly obscured his face.

  116. In Mathew 28 vs 9 the latter part says and they fell down and held His feet and worshipped Him meeting they touched Him

  117. I think we best scripture interpret scripture, a read of all scripture pertaining this incident makes it clear that He was being touched already/ held by His ankles , He simply was saying they can’t, detain Him because He was going to heaven.

  118. Interesting comments,no one was there that is here, unless the Lord has given a vision to someone? Some things are just unanswered at this point. Is that to keep our spirits sharp in reading and understanding the Word? Understanding/knowing the voice of our Lord? Jesus is soo much fun!

  119. I believe that most people are missing the point as to mary touching Christ for even though He on the cross said ” Tetelestai” it meant it is paid and not finished as it is normally said, ’cause His job would not be finished until He presented His Blood

  120. on the Altar, for the High priest could not be defiled before presenting The Sacrifice on the Altar and having Mary touch Him would of defiled Him

  121. I don’t think the passage tells her to not “touch”. The NKJV, ESV, and other versions use the term “cling” or “hold on to.” And they did touch Him in Matthew where it says the women “held Him by the feet and worshiped Him”

  122. Awesome… another piece of puzzle put together… insight and understanding..thank you so much your sharing and teaching.. makes sense and connects together…. Shalom

  123. Shalom. Thank you for this explanation. I have read similar explanations in other writings. He is our High Priest in Heaven and he had to be pure to go and do His duties. Later he was free to come back and be touched.

  124. Mary saw Jesus on resurrection morning and wasn’t allowed to touch Him. That evening Jesus appeared to the apostles after walking the Emmaus road, stating “Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have,” Luke 24:39. What am I missing?

  125. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg ,,, most of the comments here are way off,, you have it correct,, i do agree with you ,, but there is one thing your missing ,, the girls fell down at his feet and touched him and worshiped him ,, so how do you explain that

    • John 20:17 has Jesus telling Miriam (who stayed behind at the tomb) not to touch Him, but Mat.28:9 has the rest of the women holding Him by the feet. There must have been something different about Miriam. Was it her time of the month, did she touch a dead body that day, or was she somehow else ritually unclean? It is a bit speculative, but it is plausible.

  126. I was curious as to your opinion being a messianic Jew, what English version of the Bible would be more appropriate to have a Jewish perspective in its reading? I have the “Complete Jewish Study Bible,” it was translated by Dr. David Stern. What is your opinion on that bible?

    • It is a good version. But I think that translations categorically are tools. Depending on your need or goal, you might use different or even multiple tools…

  127. Jesus arose on the Feast of First Fruits and he represented us as the first fruits offering that had to be undefiled. A woman is forbidden to touch a Rabbi that she is not married to.

  128. from the Book of RIGHTEOUSNESS: it is the quickening spirit (incorruptible/immortality flesh) not yet “risen back” meaning the flesh have risen by Christ but not yet into a quickening spirit as one only the unity to d everlasting father can make it

  129. DR Eli I agree with your insight except I get very confused when you bring on board the word DEFILEMENT which to me would mean sexual activity between JESUS AND MARY. PLEASE SOME CLARIFICATION.

    • In the Bible, defilement is when you come into contact with certain things that make you unfit to approach God (usually at the temple). Some of those defiling things are blood, something dead, certain molds, skin conditions, certain bodily fluids, etc. They are listed out in Leviticus. It does not insinuate sexual activity.

  130. I want to understand why Matthew mentioned about the same event that Jesus allowed women to hold him from his feet. Matt 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
    please reply
    thank you
    The Lord bless you

    • John 20:17 has Jesus telling Miriam (who stayed behind at the tomb) not to touch Him, but Mat.28:9 has the rest of the women holding Him by the feet. There must have been something different about Miriam. Was it her time of the month, did she touch a grave or dead body that day, or was she somehow else ritually unclean? It is a bit speculative, but it is plausible.

  131. Dr. Eli..Thx for your teaching, for me it is an awesome explanation since Mary’s case forbiddened to touch Jesus has been an enigma for me for years. JBU

  132. The HIGH PRIEST & LAMB, KING YESHUA had to ascend to HEAVEN with HIS DIVINE BLOOD to cleanse the HEAVENLIES from the destruction of Lucifer & his rebellion. Any human regardless of male or female that would have tried to touch HIM before Ascending would have contaminated HIM.

    • Hi Wendy, Check out my reply to your previous comment and interpretation of Heb.9:23. The verse is about inauguration (cf. v.18). When Lucifer tried to rebel, he was cast out. Did he defile heaven and it remained that way for 4000 years before Yeshua cleansed it again? Rather, Heaven cannot be defiled because God Almighty who dwells in heaven is a consuming fire before which nothing impure can stand. It burns up.

  133. Also Jesus would be protecting Mary from accusations of being a prostatute if she got any of the burial spices & perfumes on her since JESUS had just resurrected & not cleaned Himself for finishing Salvation for us in the Heavenly Temple.

  134. Thanks, glory and honour to Our Righteous High Priest and King for His gift of Himself to us, to all the world!! The Jew and the Greek. Thanks be to YeHoVaH Elohim, and His outstretched arm of Salvation….YESHUA HAMASHIACH!! Amein.

  135. When Mary encountered Jesus and was not allowed to “Grasp His feet”(cling to Him), it was early morning. When He appeared to the 11 that evening (6 – 9 hrs. later) they “grasped His feet (Mt. 28:9).” So, He ascended “to the Father” and returned the same day.

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