Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mistaken Identity - Martin Wiles

She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” John 20:15 NLT

On December 16, 1895, Adolf Beck left his London home and was immediately falsely accused. Ottilie Meissonier met him on the street, accused him of stealing her jewelry, and contacted the police who questioned him. Though he refuted her accusations, ten other women claimed he had swindled them also. 

The police mistook Beck for John Smith who had already served time in prison. Beck was sentenced to seven years and served time in the same prison John Smith had. 

History repeated itself three years after Beck was paroled. Another woman confronted him and accused him of swindling her out of jewelry. He returned to prison. During this same time, however, the real John Smith was arrested and confessed to all the crimes Beck had ever been charged with. 

Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early Sunday morning, hoping to find the body of Jesus. What she found was empty space. As Mary sat by the tomb weeping, she was comforted by two angels who said Jesus had risen. Turning to leave, she was met by the gardener—or so she thought. She questioned him about Jesus’ whereabouts, but hers was a case of mistaken identity. She talked to Jesus. 

Mary hasn’t been the only one to mistake Jesus for someone else. Some have said he was only human while others have claimed he was solely divine. Still others have thought he was a lunatic who claimed to be God when he wasn’t. And the cases of his mistaken identity continue. 

Mistaking Jesus for anyone other than who he claims has devastating consequences. He claims to be the Son of God who paid for humanity’s sins. He offers the empty tomb as proof God the Father accepted the payment. He presents himself as the forgiver of all sins and the giver of abundant life in the present and eternal life in heaven in the future. 

Jesus is who he claimed to be, but reaping the results requires a decision. Don’t let a case of mistaken identity about Jesus ruin your present and future.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we proclaim You to be who You are: the Savior of humanity. 

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