Recently I shared with some of our fellowships, including those in the jail, how Mary and others failed to recognize the risen Jesus.
Think about it. There He was, in the garden right in front of Mary, and she didn’t recognize Him. Likewise, He appeared over the next forty days – before His ascension – to others who knew Him before the cross, but after the cross they consistently failed to recognize Him.
His resurrection was so outside their reality and frame of reference that even when He was standing right in front of them, they only saw a stranger, and not Him.
They thought they knew Jesus, and to a limited extent they did. But only in terms of their own pre-resurrection reality.
Post-resurrection, they simply couldn’t get their minds around the bigger reality of who Jesus really was and what He really was about, because a resurrected Jesus did not conform to the Jesus they thought they knew, had lived with, saw crucified and helped bury.
Isn’t that true with us as well?
We tend to limit Jesus to our own reality, and even worse, try to foist that reality on others. We all do it. We routinely limit Jesus to own assumptions, expectations, experiences and biases.
Jesus often meets us in our own reality, just like He met Mary in the garden as she mourned His death. But to truly see Him in all His fulness, and not just on our own terms, we must understand that He continually breaks out of – and if needed even shatters – our reality.
My walk with the Lord has been a continual process of dying to my own agendas, my own expectations, my own self-imposed limitations – and letting Him conform me to His reality.
Jesus loves us enough to meet us where we are, but one way or another He will always break out of our own reality – and then bid us to come and follow Him.
May we see Jesus as He really exists, and as He reveals Himself to be, and not solely in the context of our own limited reality.