Message: In John 20 Mary arrives to the tomb
early enough to find it empty but she was fresh on the scene because as soon as
she saw it empty cried believing someone stole his body. Two angels asked her
why she was crying and immediately after that Jesus himself asked her why she was
crying also. Although Mary spent a great deal of time with Jesus, she didn’t
recognize him until he spoke her name. Later on when he appeared to his disciples who
were hiding in a locked room they didn’t recognize him either. Not until he
showed them his wounds. I find this interesting as well because why would these
men whom he had spent the last 3 years with not recognize him unless he didn’t
look the way he had always looked? Also interesting is that the very next thing
he did was breathe on them and say “receive the Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit
is the one who reveals the unseen. Before Jesus was crucified he talked about
it quite a bit. There were fulfilled prophecies and he told them exactly what
would happen but they didn’t understand any of it until Jesus baptized them
with the Holy Spirit.
Command: Don’t get stuck in the pattern of
seeing everything the way it has always been. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the
things we can’t see on our own.
Promise: He is with us even when we can’t see
him or don’t recognize him because promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Warning: If we expect to see him as we have always seen
him, we will miss him when he changes approach or appearance.
Application: What I got from this is that
sometimes we don’t recognize Jesus at work in our lives because he has always
looked a certain way to us. We expect that he’ll appear the way he always has
but when he changes his approach we need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what
we can’t see. In Mary’s case he called her name and that was all it took. There
is something very personal and very soothing about hearing your name spoken by
a loved one and I believe we have encounters that feel so personal in nature
that we suddenly recognize that the Lord is calling our name through them. When
he appeared to the disciples he showed them his wounds and scars. They recognized
him immediately when he did that. Could it be that we also recognize Jesus through