It always amazes me to think of how the disciples did not get that Jesus was the Lord.
Maybe it was a different time. Maybe back in 29 AD people were cured of blindness every day. Perhaps the lame got up and walked around every Tuesday. And Lepers were cleaned every other Thursday, but I doubt it. So, what was it that kept them from seeing Him for who He was?
Was it because they were too close to Him? Was it that they knew too much of His humanity? Perhaps it was because of the fact that they knew his favorite pizza topping that they could not see the fact that this was the savior of the world.
When we see things in these terms maybe it is easier to understand. In Luke 4:24 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown”. It is difficult for us to see our friends, our family as anything other than what we know them for. He will always be the little trouble maker. Or, she will always be a little spoiled. We are never forgiven for that time that we threw the baseball through the picture window or dropped that can of soda into the huge bowl of 4th of July potato salad.
Was that it with the disciples? There is a great scene, in a modern TV interpretation of the life of Christ, where Jesus calls Matthew, the tax collector, to follow him and Peter challenges the decision. Peter says something like, “what are you doing. Do you even know him?” and Jesus says “yes, I do”. They didn’t even know him enough to trust that he knew everything, and everyone. It is no wonder that they did not know where “he was going”.
In today’s Gospel Mary of Magdala did not know why the tomb was empty. She stayed outside of the tomb and wept. Even after she leaned over and saw two angels seated in the tomb, she did not get it. The angels asked her why she was weeping, and she said, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”
Okay, now first of all she was talking with two angels, again I could be wrong, but this would probably have been an atypical occurrence. But she is so focused on her grief that she does not realize that she is talking with angles. And then when Jesus walks up behind he she is so wrapped around her own problems that she does not see him. She thinks that he is the gardener! And is sort of rude to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” It is almost as if she is saying, “just tell me what you did with the body, and I promise not to call the police”.
And the one that she is looking for is standing right in front of her. All the time that the disciples are with Jesus that did not realize that the one that they were looking for was right in front of them.
We have one advantage that they did not have. We have perspective. If I could only step back and see the whole picture, I would see that the keys that I am looking all over the house for are right in my hand.
Two days ago, we celebrated the resurrection of our lord and savior. He is risen. There is no doubt He conquered death and forgave us all of our sins so that we could follow Him.
But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
That is our reality, that is our truth, our hope. That is our perspective. This is not to say that Jesus cannot sneak up behind us. Or that he is not standing next to us in the check out at Clarks but what I am saying is ,
“Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.
April 19, 2022
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