It is a good question and I think the problem comes down more to the word
that the KJV has used saying 'touch me not'. The Bible Knowledge
Commentary explains saying the following for John 20:17-18.
"She may have embraced Him physically, for the Lord responded, Do
not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My
brothers and tell them. . . . These words spoke of a new relationship, new
relatives, and a new responsibility. Many wanted to "hold onto" Jesus.
The KJV translation "Touch Me not," has caused many interpreters to
wonder why He could not be "touched." The NIV translation is more
accurate, for He certainly was not untouchable (cf. Matt. 28:9; John 20:27). Mary
had lost Jesus once before (at His crucifixion) and it was natural to fear the
loss of His presence again.
Jesus said, in effect, "This (the
physical contact) is not My real presence for the church. A new relationship will
begin with My Ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church."
Jesus then explained the fact of the new relatives. He called His disciples His
brothers. Earlier He had said they were friends: "I no longer call you
servants . . . instead, I have called you friends" (15:15). Believers in
Jesus become a part of Jesus’ family with God as their Father (cf. Heb.
2:11-12; Rom. 8:15-17, 29; Gal. 3:26). Mary’s new responsibility was to
testify to His risen presence. She was the recipient of four special graces: to
see angels; to see Jesus risen; to be the first to see Him alive; and to be a
proclaimer of the good news. Christians today are also the recipients of special
grace; they too are given this new responsibility to witness to the world (cf.
So there wasn't anything wrong with
actually touching Jesus before He had ascended to His Father. The command is
better understood not to 'hold onto' Him or prevent Him from leaving
again. And as to when He when back to the Father, that is given in the Acts 1
passage that you mentioned.
All the best.