Heavenly Father, we come before You to learn, listen, and fellowship with You. Speak and Your servants hear, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 20: 1-25, Easter.
VV 1-3, 1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 Peter, therefore, went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early on Easter Sunday when it was still dark. She saw thatvthe stone was rolled away and concluded wrongly that tomb raiders had stolen the Lord’s body.
VV 4-10, 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.’’
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus’ body with linen strips and covered them with myrrh and aloes from head to toe. When the spices dried up, the linens strips will harden and solidify. John saw the ‘’cocoon’’ without the body of Jesus, understood and believed that Christ had Risen. John was the first person to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
VV11- 18, Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Mary Magdalene saw two angels and the Risen Christ but she did not recognize Him. When Jesus called her by name she recognized Him. Jesus told Mary not to cling to Him. As the first fruit of resurrection, He had to present Himself to God as a wave offering first, before He could be touched. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the Risen Christ. Jesus called the disciples His brothers. Hebrews 2:11. “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters”.
VV 19-23, 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The Risen Christ passed through locked doors and pronounced peace, “shalom” to His disciples. Christ breathed and imparted the Holy Spirit to His disciples.
VV 24-31, 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Thomas, was absent when Jesus first appeared to the apostles. Eight days later, Christ appeared to His disciples again. He turned to Thomas and told him to touch His hands and side. Thomas confessed, ‘’my Lord and my God.’’ Christ replied, ‘’Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe’’. We who are reading this 2000 years later, are ‘’those who have not seen and yet believed”. Thomas believed. John wrote this gospel so that “you may believer that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in His name”.
Heavenly Father, I pray for those who have not committed their lives to Jesus Christ or have wandered away from Him. We pray that they will turn away from sin and turn to Him, in Jesus’ name, Amen.