John 20

John 20 is one of the most important chapters to our faith in Christ.  He has been crucified and placed in a tomb with a large stone put in front of the entrance.  In other accounts, we know soldiers had been stationed to keep guard so the body could not be moved.  “Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance”.  It’s interesting that Mary Magdalene is the first to arrive at the scene.  And when she does, the stone has been moved.  The tomb is open.

She runs back to find the disciples.  “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him”.  Simon and another disciple run to check out her story.  We aren’t told who this second person is.  There are many conflicting views with often John being the one most considered.  But no matter who it was, the two find the tomb empty and the linen cloths left behind.  “The disciples then went back home”.  Sort of an interesting move.  But at this point they hadn’t figured out that Jesus had to be raised from the dead according to the prophecy of scripture.

Mary hangs around the tomb and sees the angels, and then Jesus Himself appears to her.  It’s interesting that the first person Jesus appears to is a woman, which seems strange for those times.  But she was there, standing at the tomb, looking for the Savior.  Jesus asks her to go tell the others.  “Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: I saw the Master”.  Can you imagine the doubt the disciples must have had?  Jesus comes to them later in the day to remove all that.  “Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side”.  Jesus knows they would have a difficult time believing.  This was way outside anything they expected or had experienced before.

Then Jesus gives them this command: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you”.  The job of being a disciple was really just getting started.  He is sending them off to share the good news of His resurrection.  Over the days ahead He’ll make that more clear, but this isn’t the end, but rather the beginning.  Thomas struggles to believe since he wasn’t there when Jesus came.  “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it”.  Jesus didn’t write him off as a disbeliever.  He came again and showed Thomas personally the very holes and cut in his side.  Jesus equips us and prepares us for the work He has for us to do.  He has done the same for you and me.  “These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it”.

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