John was writing an historical account. John was not interested in giving insurmountable evidence for the resurrection.
- John was interested in giving the evidence that immediately lead him to understand and believe.
- John was interested in giving enough evidence to lead anyone to immediate belief — if a person is willing to believe.
John’s record of Jesus’ resurrection is a strong historical account of the event. To an honest, objective, and good heart, the evidence is convincing.
We must remember that God through inspiration has not formulated the Scriptures to prove anything. God proclaims in Scripture the He is (exists), that He is love, and that He has shown love supremely by sending His own Son to save a lost and dying world.
What God wants from us is love and belief, love for the Lord Jesus Christ and belief in the supreme power of of loving God. This is just the point of the resurrection account. We are to believe because we love even as Mary and John loved.
I. The unsealed tomb. 20:1-2
- Mary visited the tomb early, when it was still dark. Matthew actually says it was ‘the end of the Sabbath,’ meaning between 3-6 am. Jesus rose before dawn, before the sun arose on Sunday morning. Significant to the early Christian believers, so significant that they broke away from the common division of the week which began with the Sabbath or Saturday. They began to count their days beginning with Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2) Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday means that He had been in the grave for three days just as He said. His resurrection from the dead was a triumph, a conquest over death. Death reigns no more. Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week , Sunday morning. In the grave on the Sabbath, unable to observe the laws governing the great season of the Passover and the Sabbath. He was dead to the law and its observances. In Christ’s death believers become dead to the law.
- Mary saw the stone rolled away. Strong evidence for the resurrection.
- Mary ran to Peter. Shows Peter was still the accepted leader. In spite of the likely rumored account of his cowardice denial of Jesus. Peter had repented and set himself to resume his task. Mary revealed an unquestioning love. They have taken the Lord.
- Mary is a supreme example of someone who loves and believes. She was one of the last to leave Jesus at the cross, one of the first to attend the tomb, and one who still called Him Lord.
II. The unoccupied tomb. 20:3-6
They discovered the empty tomb and the linen clothes. They “went forth” to the tomb. John outran Peter.
John stopped at the tombs entrance and glanced in. He noticed the linen. Peter actually entered the tomb. He too, noticed the linen clothes.
If the body had been removed by the authorities or stolen by someone, the linen would have been taken with the body or left in a disheveled mess, thrown someplace on the floor.
If a man wishes to discover the empty tomb, he must get up and ‘go forth‘ to look at it. He must investigate, then he will see. Getting up and going forth is the only way a man can ever discover the Risen Lord.
III. The undisturbed linen. 20:7-10
Two significant points.
1. Note the linen clothes. Suddenly it dawned on John and Peter that the linen clothes were undisturbed. The Greek word ‘wrapped together’ (entetuligmenon) is the verb which is used for actually winding the linens around a body for burial. The Greek word is saying is the linens were ‘still in their fold’, wrapped just like they would be wrapped around a body–as if the body had just evaporated. They were not disheveled or disarranged. Four things:
- It would be impossible to extract a body from its wrapping and leave them in good order.
- The wrappings would have been taken with the body if the body had been moved.
- The wrappings would have been disheveled and disarranged and scattered if thieves had ransacked the tomb.
- The wrappings could never be placed in the exact spot on the rock slab where the body lay. Yet this is how they were lying according to the Greek text. It was this that led John to immediate belief.
2. Note John’s immediate belief.
- John did not believe because of the insurmountable evidence, but because he loved Jesus.
- Seeing the linen clothes penetrated John’s mind and he remembers Jesus’ prophecy that He would rise again. John realized wHt had happened and believed.
- This is the point of his account of the linen clothes and of the way the account is presented. This is also the point of the resurrection account.
A loving God wants love–a heart full of love. He wants a person to simply believe. He wants a person to simply believe that God is (exists) and that God is a rewarder of them that love Him.
Believe in the resurrection not because of evidence but because of your love for God.
Until Next Time,