The Reading: John 20:11-18
“… I have seen the Lord.” (v.18) RSV
In what sense did Mary see the Lord? As she stood weeping outside the tomb she saw with her human eyes someone that she mistook for the gardener. We shall see as we go through the following weeks that the risen Jesus was not recognised by his outward appearance. Something else was necessary. Jesus was actually recognised and known in the observer’s spirit.
As Paul would say, “the Spirit witnesses with our spirit …” (Romans 8:16). Thus it was not until Mary Magdalene heard her name spoken by Jesus, ‘Mary’ (v.16), that she recognised him. It must have been something about his tone of voice, or the familiarity of the way he said her name that witnessed with her that despite the conflicting evidence of her eyes, it really was her Lord and Master – “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) (v.16).
No unbeliever is recorded to have seen the risen Jesus.
They may have seen him with their eyes but not known him or who it was. Only believers were able to recognise him. Today he can still be known in our spirit.
Our other senses may be riddled with doubt or uncertainty, but deep within ourselves we KNOW it is the Lord.
The risen Christ may not appear to our five senses yet we can know his presence with us and in us. And yet he also comes to us in or through other people who have his Spirit. He is especially evident when his people meet together in his name – “… there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
Thank you Lord that you rose from the dead. Help me to see you today even when you come in unexpected ways. Grant me the faith to believe. Amen.
1. What unexpected way did God come to Moses?
2. What unexpected way can angels appear?