Perception vs. Reality – Tom Tanner

Mark 16:1-8

Perception is not reality. No matter how complete and grounded your opinion or experience feels, there is more to the story.  Actually, only God’s perception is full reality.

1.      The perception of the Jewish Leaders:  This man doesn’t respect our law and He doesn’t respect our authority. He is a blasphemer who is leading people away from the true faith and messing things up for us. He must be stopped.

2.      The perception of the Roman government:  This is an annoyance. He’s just one man. It will be better to eliminate Him than to have to deal with the masses.

3.      The perception of the followers of Jesus:  This is the worst day of our lives. WE HAD HOPED! It is OVER. Everything we have done over the last three years was just wiped away.

4.      THE REALITY:  This is the GREATEST WEEKEND IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.  Everything has happened according to the PERFECT PLAN OF GOD.  We were lost and without hope. The perfect lamb of God came and died in our place.  We can NOW have life.  ALL OF THIS BECAUSE GOD “SO LOVED…”

False perception can cause us to miss some of the most precious things in life.  For years I have said publicly and believed in my heart that my father was never affectionate towards me. I have said “I have no memory of him putting his arms around me and telling me that he loved me.”  And then last week, I found this picture taken at my 40th birthday party…  (picture of Tom’s Dad embracing him).

Many of you have lived your lives apart from God because of a false perception of what He is like AND HOW HE FEELS ABOUT YOU.  The greatest display of unconditional love in history is the CROSS OF CHRIST.

Jesus died so we could be forgiven. He paid our penalty. He died in our place.  Jesus was raised on the third day so we could live forever.  Not only do we get the benefit of His death. He offers us His life.

He is not distant. He is not aloof. He is not angry.