You have heard it said, “Things are not always they seem.” It is called, “Perception” – the way we see things or “perceive” them is not always accurate. Our perception of a situation can cause us then to “Jump to Conclusions.”
For example: I was watching one of my hallmark movies the other day. There was this scene when the girl sees her fiancé coming out of a hotel. Her first thought was that she perceived him to have been with another woman. She “Jumped to the conclusion” that he was cheating on her. However, her perception was wrong. She later finds out that he went to the hotel to set up a special wedding night – massages, nice dinner, champaign, the whole thing.
I feel like this is what happened to Mary Magdalene that Easter morning when she went to the tomb. She leaves early in the morning, before it is even light outsight to go check on Jesus. Here is where her perception caused her to JUMP to conclusions…She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. She didn’t look into the tomb, but immediately assumed that someone had taken Jesus. We know this because she runs to tell the disciples that’s what has happened. He’s not there because someone has taken him. What she perceived to be true was not accurate.
But, I love this story about Peter and the other disciple. They are both running as fast as they can…but the other disciple outruns Peter and gets to the tomb first…He peeks in but doesn’t go in. And, there is our Peter…Like Bull in a China Shop, I envision Peter pushing the other disciple aside and jumps into the tomb. Peter wants all the facts. He is almost like a detective trying to understand what has happened. And, he and the other disciple come to the correct conclusion…
Everything is there that they had wrapped Jesus up in – all the linen cloths, neatly folded and rolled up…And, while they still didn’t quite understand everything…It seemed as if Jesus’ words of his resurrection rang in their heads…He has Risen!
And, then there is Mary still standing outside of the tomb…crying and wondering what happened to Jesus…It’s as if she gets up the nerve to look into the tomb, but when she does…she sees two angels and they ask her why is she crying? Still thinking someone has taken Jesus, she turns around only to see him standing there.
Mary’s perception of this man is that he is the gardener. This ‘so called’ gardener asked Mary, “Why are crying? Whom are you looking for?” She doesn’t recognize Jesus until he calls her by name. “Mary,” Jesus says. At that moment she sees Jesus. When she runs to tell others, she says, “I have seen the Lord!”
I think that death is a perception. Can you imagine how people perceived death before Christ’s death and resurrection? There was no hope of life. You were just buried in the ground and that was that –
I can’t help but to think about Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. He was not a particular religious man. He said that he perceived death like an “on and off” switch. When we are ON – we are alive. When we are OFF, we are dead. It was that simple. In fact, that was why, he said that he didn’t want there to be an “ON and OFF” on his computer.
But, we do know that just before he took his last breaths, he said, “Oh wow, Oh wow!” Whatever, Steve Jobs saw – must have been glorious and beyond even HIS or our Imagination!
On that Easter morning, Jesus changed Mary perception of death! He blew away anything that she could have possibly imagined. She was so sure that someone had taken her Lord, but yet, only to find him standing right in front of her! He had RISEN from the dead! He was ALIVE and IS ALIVE today!
Through Jesus Christ we can have the hope that we too will have a resurrection like his –We do not have to perceive death as the end – but just the beginning to our everlasting LIFE! Jesus will one day call each one of us by name and we will claim, “I have seen the Lord!” This will not be a perception that we jump to some conclusion –
But, TRUTH, GLORY, and MERCY will fill us with the LORD’s AMAZING GRACE!