34 Question 4

Let’s read the account you are speaking of.  John 20:11-17 says, “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”  This was on the first day of the week, the day the Lord Jesus rose from the dead.  At the tomb of Jesus, Mary was first spoken to by two angels, then she saw the Lord Himself, but she didn’t recognize Him.  It is probable that there was a difference in the physical appearance of the Lord after his resurrection.  Of course, the last time Mary saw the Lord, He was beaten terribly, his bones were all out of joint, and he was covered in blood.  It is possible that she was simply not expecting to see Him again.  One interesting point in the portion we just read is that Mary immediately recognized the Lord Jesus when He spoke her name.  The Lord said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

In Luke 24:13-34, there is an account of two people that were traveling to Emmaus from Jerusalem.  This was on the same day; the first day of the week when Christ rose from the dead.  As they were walking and talking with each other, the Lord joined them and asked them why they were so sad.  Without knowing who He was, they began to tell the Lord about the death of Christ and how that he was missing from his tomb. We read in Luke 24:16, “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”  In Mark, we have a very brief account of this same incident.  We read in Mark 16:12, “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.”  It’s not that Jesus took upon Himself a new appearance, but that he did not allow these two to recognize Him yet.

The Lord walked with them to their house and sat with them for a meal.  We read in Luke 24:30-31, “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”  Here, it was in the breaking of bread that the Lord was recognized.  Perhaps as the Lord broke the bread and handed it to them, they saw the wounds in His hands and recognized who He was.  Of course, they only recognized the Lord when their eyes were opened to recognize Him.

In both of these incidents, we see that Mary and the two on the road to Emmaus recognized the Lord when He allowed it.  How gracious is our Lord today to reveal Himself to us all that we might recognize Him as the risen savior, the one who suffered for our sins on the cross; the one who gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins, so that by trusting in Him, we can have eternal life.  How gracious is our Lord that He extends the gift of life to all.  We read in Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

The day is quickly approaching when those who know the Lord Jesus as their savior will see Him.  1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  When we see Him, we will recognize Him and we will fall at His feet and worship our blessed Lord for eternity.