John 20:1-9 … This is the record of Sunday morning, Resurrection Day. The Sabbath is over and Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark. This Mary of Magdala is a woman who Jesus had healed of evil spirits (Luke 8:2) and who had since been a devoted follower. She had been present at the crucifixion (John 19:25) and her devotion to Him never faltered. Observing that the stone, sealed under the authority of the Roman governor Pilate, had been rolled away, Mary immediately ran for help and first encountered Peter and John. Note that John never refers to himself in the first person, it’s always “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” John credits himself with arriving first, but it’s the impetuous Peter who goes into the tomb, followed by John (20:8). Commentators make much of the Greek words for “saw”: Mary saw, Peter saw, John saw. It’s all the same word in our English, but the Greek uses different words: Mary saw in an ordinary observation; Peter saw, but the word means critical and careful examination, and John saw in comprehension and understanding, and “He saw and believed” (v.8). But still, even in the quiet morning hour of amazement, and despite Jesus having repeatedly told them that He must suffer, be killed and then rise again on the third day (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; John 2:19), they still did not connect the momentous event with scriptural prophecy (20:9), but that understanding will quickly dawn on them all.
This is the momentous event of all history. It’s not the only basis of Christianity, far from it, but it is the keystone event. The resurrection of Christ, the proclamation on Resurrection morning that “He Lives,” that “He’s Alive,” is foundation of our faith and God’s “first fruits” of the ultimate resurrection of all who belong to Him (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
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