Q. I have always been interested in Jesus’ answers to Mary and Thomas as to why Mary was not allowed to touch him after He rose from the dead and why Thomas was allowed to touch His hands. Just because Thomas lacked faith does not give him greater privileges than Mary does it?
A. On Resurrection morning Jesus said to Mary, “Don’t hold on to me for I have not yet returned to my Father.” He didn’t say don’t touch me. Then He told her to inform the disciples that’s what He was doing. (John 20:17) That night He appeared to them all in the Upper room (John 20:19). This tells us he had something to do in Heaven that morning and He returned to them that evening after He had done it. Thomas was not present that time.
Scholars speculate that as our High Priest, Jesus had one final act to perform and that was the sprinkling of His blood on the altar in Heaven. They base this on Hebrews 9:11-12.
When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
But Mary was clinging to Him as if she would never let go of Him again. He told her to release Him so He could complete His final task, and when He had finished He came back. The following Sunday He encouraged Thomas to touch Him to prove He was the one He claimed to be.