When Jesus Shows Up

Intentional Christian LivingI am not surprised to find the raw emotions of people described in scripture. After all as human persons we possess emotive feelings. There are many situations in our everyday living that cause us to experience different emotions. Words such as happy, sad, angry, excited, upset etc. describe how we feel. It is interesting to observe how this is played out in the Easter Story. Let’s look at Mary at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday: She​ arrived there two days ​after witnessing Christ’s death. How traumatizing the whole experience ​must have been for her, watching her son being beaten and crucified to death. To add to her trauma, she finds that Jesus’s body had disappeared, the body which she was hoping to embalm one last time and perhaps spend a few quiet moments with her loved one to grieve and come to terms with this loss.​

Mary began crying because she​ thought that someone had taken Jesus away and robbed her of this one last ritual, robbed her of her moments of grieving for this son whom she loved so much. ​You see when we are in an emotional state, we do not always think and act rationally. Sometimes, we think about the worst possibility. ​At other times people trivialize the​ feelings of those affected​ and dismiss the person as being weak. Jesus himself showed his emotion at the death of Lazarus. Jesus wept. ​So when a person is in such a psychological state, it is perfectly normal for a behavioral or expressive response to take place.

What does​Jesus do? ​He shows up in the midst of that state and helps bring about a changed behavior. Notice in John 20: 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”) and then in John 20:18:Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”

The presence of God in our lives helps us to be grounded so that when we become aware that God is with us, our emotions, which at first may be that of sadness, anger, bitterness, etc, can be turned into hope, joy, peace etc and we seek to tell others of this change that took place because of Jesus showing up.

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