For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24).
John 20:11-18 tells us the story of the first appearance of the risen Lord. After Jesus was crucified and buried, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb on the third day to anoint His body with spices. When she arrived at the tomb, she found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. Rattled, Mary ran to tell Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, that someone had taken the body of the Master.
The Bible records for us in the 11th verse that after Peter and John left, Mary stayed at the tomb, weeping. As she turned to leave, she saw a man standing there, whom she did not recognize (the man was Jesus). He asked her why she was crying, and she again explained that someone had taken away Jesus’ body.
At that moment, the Master called her by name, “Mary,” and she realized that it was Jesus Himself. Overjoyed, Mary turned, perhaps to hug Him, but He instructed her to not touch Him, and told her why: “…Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
This means that before meeting with the disciples in Galilee, and before anyone could touch Him, He would have ascended to the Father, as our High Priest and presented His blood. Whereas the priests of the Old Testament had to offer sacrifices year after year for a yearly atonement, Jesus did it once and obtained eternal redemption for mankind.
So, His sacrifice was in His own blood which He went to heaven to present. His blood was accepted as read in Hebrews 9:12: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
In Matthew’s account, when He came to Galilee, the first thing He said to His disciples was “…All hail…” (Matthew 28:9). In other words, “It’s done! It has happened! I’ve presented my blood and obtained eternal redemption for mankind.” Blessed be God!
Blessed Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing our sins and washing them away with your blood, once and for all! You paid the ultimate price for sin, which man had incurred without a means of settlement. Now, I’m washed, sanctified, and justified, free from sin, death, and destruction. Your Name be praised and adored forever!
1-year bible reading plan
Acts 20:1-16; Job 19-21
2-year bible reading plan
Luke 7:36-50; Joshua 5