-On the first day of the new week, which would have been a Sunday according to our methods of tracking days, Mary Magdalene came early in the morning to the tomb while it was still dark outside. What she saw probably puzzled her immensely. The stone encapsulating the tomb had been taken away. So, in haste she ran and came to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, presumably John, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Resurrection wasn’t even on her mind. She was thinking from a total natural perspective still at this point. The two disciples ran to the tomb immediately. The disciple whom Jesus loved got to the tomb first. I think John might have been doing a little bragging here J. He stooped in and saw that the linen wrappings were there, but he did not go in. Simon Peter then got there and went right on in to the tomb. He also observed the linen wrappings as well as the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ Head. It was not with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place all by itself. The other disciple then entered this tomb chamber. He saw and believed, but they both were yet to understand the Scripture, that Jesus must rise again from the dead (John 20:1-9).
-After these things, the disciples went away back to their homes where they were staying. But, Mary stayed behind, standing outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she stooped and peered into the tomb. What caught her eye now was amazing! She saw two angels in white sitting at the Head and Feet, where the Body of Jesus had been lying. They spoke to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She replied that they had taken away her Lord, and that she didn’t know where He was. “When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but did not know that it was Jesus.” The Lord spoke to her, perhaps with a covering on His Head, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She initially thought Him to be the gardener of the area they were in. She replied, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus spoke again, “Mary!” She now perceived and called out to Him, “Rabboni (which means Teacher)!” Jesus remarked to her to stop clinging on to Him. He had important work to do in ascending to the Father. Instead, He wanted her to go to His brethren with this joyful news, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.” Mary Magdalene came back announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she joyfully and adamantly told them all these things that had transpired (John 20:10-18).
-As time kept rolling along on that first Resurrection Day, evening came. The doors of the place were shut where the disciples were staying, “for fear of the Jews.” All of a sudden, Jesus came and stood in their midst with His glorified Body. He said to them, “Peace be with you.” After He spoke these few words, He showed them His Hand and His side. The understatement of the chapter comes next, “The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” Again, He said to them, “Peace be with you.” Then, He went on, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” When He said these things, which He had actually spoken previously (John 17:18), He breathed on them and stated, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained (John 20:19-23).” I’m sure the disciples were ready to conquer now. They had witnessed the risen Savior.
-One of the disciples was not there with them when Christ appeared. This was Thomas, otherwise known as Didymus. The other disciples were telling him about the Lord’s appearance, but Thomas had his doubts, “Unless I see in His Hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Eight days later (that’s a pretty long time, right?), His disciples were again inside now along with Thomas. Jesus came back, through the shut doors, and stood in their midst once again saying, “Peace be with you.” He directed His attention to the doubting disciple, “Reach here with your finger, and see My Hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Dumbfound I’m sure, Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” He too had seen the resurrected Messiah. Jesus now taught a valuable lesson for us all, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John tells us that Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of the disciples from that point, which were not written in his book. “But these things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His Name (John 20:24-31).”
-*Application*- We humans are pretty dense in the faith department sometimes, aren’t we? John continues to make the case for belief in his text. Jesus expects us to believe, that’s the simple truth. Completely trust His words and His actions. Also, be quick to accept the testimony of Spirit-filled followers of Christ who have seen His mighty works. Don’t be a doubting Thomas. Jesus is alive!
Verse to Memorize: John 20:31