Can you imagine what it must have been like for those disciples, who thought Jesus was dead and gone, only to find that He was alive and thriving? It must have been a shock to say the least and that is what I want to talk about in this entry. I want to look at one of the women who went to the tomb on Sunday morning only to find it not as she thought it would be. So let's go back in time and see if there is any lessons we can learn from her encounter with the empty tomb.
TWO ANGELS AND THE LORD
When Mary came to the tomb, she found it empty and went to inform the disciples. They went running and found it as she said, while Mary stood outside crying, assuming that someone had stolen and hidden Jesus' body. Two angels sat in the empty tomb and spoke to her, asking her for whom she was looking. She said that she was looking for Jesus, and repeated her assumption that someone had taken Him away. It was then that Jesus Himself appeared to her:
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”) (John 20:14-16).
Mary was well acquainted with Jesus and certainly knew His voice, yet her preconceived notion that Jesus was dead and gone prevented her from recognizing Him. Her thinking affected her perception and she couldn't hear God speaking to her, even though she knew His voice. The same can happen to you and me.
Mary's thinking was an impediment to hearing God. The same can happen to you. You can be consumed by worry, fear, doubt, wrong assumptions, or anxiety and miss the Lord, even though you're familiar with His voice. You can read His word and still not comprehend it because of your heart or, should I say, mind condition. You would do well to heed the admonition found in Hebrews 4, where the writer warned,
God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).
What situation do you consider hopeless into which God is trying to speak today? Where is there a tomb in your life, where you think you know what the outcome will be, but where God wants to speak to your heart and bring hope and life? You may not think your heart is hard, but any number of things can numb or deaden you to the presence of God in your life and His voice in your heart. So in effect, God can be speaking to you and you not realize it's Him. Thus the barrier to your breakthrough isn't in your circumstances but rather in your mind.
One of the lessons of Easter is that what is impossible with man is possible with God. You must see your situation from God's perspective or you may miss what He's trying to say and do, and that would be a real tragedy. So go to the tomb today, but don't go in a hopeless state of mind. Go expecting to hear the Lord and see new and fresh things. When you do, your circumstances may not change, but how you see them will, and that may be the breakthrough you are looking for and God wants you to have. Have a great week and a blessed Easter celebration!