My God and Your God, and other Questions

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Khristos Anesti dear tasebha folk.

I have so many questions for you.

a) Why did Christ tell Mary Magdalene: "Do not touch me" after He appeared to her in the garden, the morning of His Glorious Resurrection?

What was the problem with touching Him? St Thomas even put his finger on Christ's wound.

b) Then He tells her: I am going to "My God and Your God, my Father and Your Father". I think when He says "to my God" - its not as a term of worship, but it is an affirmation of His Sonship - i.e. that He is from God. Can anyone confirm this? Or am i totally wrong?

c) Why does he ask the Father to "forgive them" whilst He's on the cross? Surely He could forgive them? My 2 cents is that He intercedes for us to the Father, and this is just another example of that - or am I mistaken?



  • i think he says 'do not cling to me' or 'do not hold me'.
    other people will write more, i hope, i can't remember the full explanation.
  • that thread recommended pope shenouda's book, which is here:

  • and this is the relevant bit!
    thanks for the link, servant 33

    Do Not Hold On To Me
    Why did the Lord appear to Mary Magdalene after the
    Why did He say to her ""Do not cling to Me," (John. 20:17)
    While He allowed Saint Thomas to touch Him? (John
    He, also, allowed the rest of the apostles to touch him.
    (Luke 24:39)
    Did He prevent her from touching Him because she is a
    Did He allow them to touch Him because they are men?

    The Lord Jesus Christ allowed Mary Magdalene to touch Him
    before anyone of the apostles, as it was mentioned in their first
    meeting after the resurrection in (Matt. 24)
    Mary Magdalene, with the other Mary went to look at the
    tomb. The tomb was empty. The big stone was rolled away
    from the entrance.
    The angel told them the good news of the resurrection of the
    Lord. On leaving the tomb, the Lord met them and said to
    them "Peace be with you. "(John 20:19).
    Here, Saint Matthew, the Evangelist says, "So they came and
    held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. ". (Matt 28:9)
    So, Mary Magdalene has touched Christ after the
    The Lord did not prevent her from touching Him because she is
    a woman but, on the contrary, He charged her with going to His
    disciples and telling them about the good news of the
    resurrection and her meeting with Him in the Galilee.
    It was a great honour that the Lord charged a woman with
    carrying good news to the apostles.
    But it happened afterwards that Mary Magdalene yielded
    to the doubts spread by the chief priests about the
    They filled the world with rumours announcing that the body
    was stolen from the tomb while the guards were sleeping.
    It was possible for these rumours to leave no effect on Mary
    were it not for her to see that the apostles themselves did not
    believe in the resurrection.
    As for the doubts of the disciples, they were very clear as they
    did not believe the story of the resurrection.
    Mary has gone to them and told them the good news of Christ's
    resurrection. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she
    had seen Him, they did not believe it. (Mark 16:9-11)
    When Mary Magdalene saw that Jesus' apostles did not
    believe her and trusted neither the other women nor the
    two from Emmaus, she began to doubt.

    She was still a young lady and perhaps what she had seen at the
    tomb was a dream or imagination. Had she faith stronger than
    that of the apostles? It is something absurd.
    She thought in herself; perhaps some men might have stolen the
    body and carried it from its place!
    They might not be the apostles but other men, perhaps the
    gardener, for example, might have taken it for any reason!
    Of course, all these were doubts against faith because she
    herself saw the empty tomb. She also saw Christ, touched
    Him and heard His voice.
    Moreover, she heard the good news from the angel, then
    from the two angels.
    As Peter had denied Christ three times during the judgment, so
    did Mary Magdalene. She denied the resurrection of the Lord
    three times. These denials are written in one chapter. (John
    The first denial took place when she went to the Saints
    Peter and John and said to them "They have taken the Lord out
    of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!"
    (John 20:2)
    These words mean that God has not yet risen from the dead as
    they have taken His body and put it another place.
    The second denial took place when she was weeping
    outside the tomb and the two angels asked her "Woman, why
    are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken
    away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
    (John 20:13)
    The third denial took place when The Lord Jesus
    Christ appeared to her. Because of her weeping, she did not see
    Him well and thought Him to be the gardener. Perhaps He
    concealed Himself from her ... She said to Him "Sir, if You have
    carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will
    take Him. " (John 20.-15)
    When He showed Himself to her and she knew Him, she cried
    out "Rabboni!" (which means: Teacher)
    The Lord prevented her from touching Him to rebuke her
    for denying His resurrection three times.
    Also, it was not permissible for her to touch Him with her
    precarious faith as if He were a common person carried by
    someone to any place.
    She said to Peter and John "They have taken away the Lord out
    of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
    (John 20:2).
    She said to the two angels " they have taken away my Lord, and
    I do not know where they have laid Him " (John 20:13).
    She said to the Lord thinking He was the gardener "Sir, if You
    have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, "
    (John 20:15).
    All her words were repetition to the soldiers' pretence and
    showed her precarious faith.
    The Lord said to her "Do not cling to Me ..." which means
    'Don't approach Me with your shaken faith and with you
    doubts after you have seen Me, clasped My feet and heard
    My voice.'
    'Don't approach Me after I have charged you with a
    message to My disciples.'
    'Don't approach Me after you have seen the tomb and
    heard the angels' testimony.'
    'Don't hold on to Me with your denial, for I have not yet
    returned to the Father.'

    As for the phrase " I have not yet ascended to My Father. "
    (John 20:17) Saint Severus, from Antioch as well as Saint
    Augustine did not take it literally but symbolically because she
    had held on Him before.
    The two saints added that the Lord wished to say to her "Don't
    hold on to Me with your precarious faith because I have not
    reached in your mind the standard of My Father's divinity.
    "You think My body is still dead and the people can carry it
    wherever they wish!!"
    However, He consoled her and at the same time He charged her
    with a message to the apostles.
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