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.”Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,[b] “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) John 20:15-16
Every day we use our senses to help us understand and perceive the world around us; the way we make decisions, what to eat, wear, listen to, to say and to think. It is our senses that help us to function in our daily lives. It is believed that when you lose one of your senses, it heightens the others. For example, a blind person’s sense of touch or hearing would be increased due to their lack of sight. Likewise, a deaf person would have an over reliance on their sense of sight, for example using sign language or subtitles due to their inability to hear. Something else that can also impact the use of our senses is our emotions. Emotions are defined as the “strong feeling deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” Emotions can be positive or negative but are ultimately impacted by how we react to situations that involve those around us. Mary is a perfect example of this. Her sadness, grief and despair due to the death of Jesus causes her to behave as someone who had no hope.
Jesus asked Mary two questions.
Why are you weeping
Who are you seeking?
Considering Jesus had already told Mary and his disciples that He had to die and would resurrect in three days, you would have expected that the empty tomb would have filled her with joy and not sorrow. Rather Mary behaves as one who is experiencing the death of an ordinary man and not that of the Son of God. Even when Mary is speaking to Jesus (whom she confused for a gardener) her emotional reaction is to do the norm, locate the body and anoint it with spices, not realising that her emotions had caused her senses to fail her and it was indeed Jesus she was talking to and not a gardener. It was only once she heard his voice that she realised whom she was speaking to. Whilst Mary’s eyes had failed her, perhaps because they were welled up with tears, her ear had pointed her towards her Messiah. What Mary didn’t realise was that because of whom she was seeking, her response needed to be different. It needed to be abnormal, radical and irregular.
Many of us I’m sure can identify with Mary, as the challenges of life so often lead us to take our eyes off the ball and hamper our use of our spiritual senses. Whether we are sad, angry, frustrated, miserable and the list goes on, it doesn’t change what Jesus did over 2000 years ago. Therefore, do not allow your emotions to cloud your senses. Continue to look to Jesus, He is the author and finisher of your faith who for the sake of joy, underwent the suffering of the cross, despised the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God, acting as our negotiator. So, let us not allow our emotions to cloud our judgement to the point that we take our eyes off Jesus. Let our emotions and senses join in giving all praise and glory to our Creator. The resurrection has brought life and power to every one of us and it’s time we began to walk in it. This Easter, let every aspect of us seek the saviour so that despite what life throws at us, our response will be abnormal, radical and irregular, because we worship an abnormal, radical and irregular God. Let’s recognise Him, His sacrifice, His power and His glory!