24 November 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 20:1-2 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:1-2 NLT)
Today I took some time to re-read all four Gospel accounts of “Early Sunday Morning” at the tomb. John’s Gospel speaks of Mary Magdalene being first to visit. Other Gospels have Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” visiting; or Mary, Mary, and Salome; or Mary, Joanna, Mary mother of James, and several others. However it happened, there are a couple of things that really stand out to me.
1) It was the women who took action while the men were hiding from the Jewish leaders. The women went to the tomb taking spices and linens they had bought on Friday before sundown. They weren’t sure how they would gain access, because the tomb was sealed by a large, heavy stone and guarded by soldiers. But they went. They went because they loved Jesus. And they went to serve in the best and the only way they knew.
2) Nobody expected an empty tomb! After discovering that the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty, Mary ran quickly, filled with a strange mixture of amazement, fear, and joy, and confusion, to the place where the disciples were hiding and found Peter and John. She breathlessly told them, “The tomb is empty! The stone was rolled away when I got there and Jesus’ body is gone! Someone has stolen his body and I don’t know where they’ve taken him!”
For people who are especially interested in apologetics (rational proofs of scripture), This makes a good case for resurrection and a poor case for saying that he wasn’t actually dead (Joseph and Nicodemus had proof he was dead). It makes a good case for resurrection and a poor case for saying his disciples came and stole his body to make it look like he came back to life (They were as surprised as anyone else!). For me, this helps me believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior of the world!
Father, Thank you that by heaven’s power you brought Jesus back from the dead to rule and reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah!