Getting past the misunderstandings of our logical and earthly judgments and discerning the same events in the mystery of the Spirit is our great opportunity. We are called to be “managers of mysteries” rather than conveyors of misunderstandings. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
Jesus summarizes this way, “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”” (John 7:24, NLT) Solomon writes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, NLT)
Jesus’ Resurrection Morning helps us see Misunderstandings and Mysteries:
Jesus rose from the dead in the dark.
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” (John 20:1)
The darkness was even darker within Mary’s heart.
“She ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”” (John 20:2)
Peter and John came running, but remained in the dark, and went home not understanding.
“So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed (Mary’s report). Yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20:3–9)
Mary stayed, and wept, and looked back inside the tomb trying to understand.
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.”” (John 20:11–13, ESV)
Then Jesus appeared but Mary did not understand that it was him.
“Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
The light finally dawned when she heard him call her by name.
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
Then “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)
Misunderstanding and Mystery accompany Jesus’ resurrection:
Misunderstanding darkens it. Jesus’ resurrection was beyond human understanding so everything was misunderstood.
Mystery reveals it. A word from Jesus bursts with light.
Faith listens past misunderstandings that confuse and understands mysteries that infuse love and light.
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
Let’s press past misunderstandings until the mysteries becomes clear. His voice is calling! We can all be changed!