In his Easter message for this year, the Bishop of Chichester discusses significance of a painting in Chichester Cathedral’s Mary Magdalene Chapel.
Standing in front of the Graham Sutherland painting known as Noli me tangere (Do not cling to me), Dr Martin Warner explains the interaction between Jesus and Mary Magdalene after the resurrection.
In the biblical story, Mary Magdalene only recognises the risen Jesus when he calls her by her name. Jesus says to her, “Do not cling to me”, as he has a not yet ascended into heaven.
Sutherland depicts the scene between the two central characters on a staircase, and Dr Warner is clearly both delighted and challenged by this interpretation of events which took place in Jerusalem shortly after the first Easter morning.
Against a backdrop of international uncertainty, Dr Warner says the painting as a reminder that the Easter message is “much more than about the past.”
He said: “Jesus blazes a trail for us; he is always with us; he fills our hearts with joy.”
The Bishop believes the risen Christ is saying to each person: “Come with me through life, through death to the glory of heaven”.
Bishop Martin’s Easter message is available on Youtube.