Day 47: John 20:1-10
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
John 20:1-10 (NIV)
These three were heartbroken, exhausted, and stunned with grief. Their great hope had collapsed into their greatest fear. They grieved for more than the loss of their closest friend; they grieved the death of hope.
When Mary saw the stone rolled away, she assumed Jesus’ body was stolen. There was no other explanation. This was either a theft or a miracle, and she no longer believed in miracles. She had watched the miracle worker die.
Yes, he had opened blind eyes and deaf ears. Yes, he had driven out demons and commanded the waves. Yes, he had turned water into wine and a boy’s meager lunch into an all-you-can-eat banquet for thousands. But, these all had one thing in common—Jesus—and he was gone now.
John, being younger, reached the tomb before Peter but lacked the nerve to enter. Peter went straight into the tomb, and John joined him. They saw the linen strips in the middle of the tomb and the face cloth where Jesus had been laid. Like Mary, they had a decision to make. Were they at a crime scene or at the scene of history’s greatest miracle? John instantly believed a miracle occurred. We don’t know Peter’s conclusion.
Three people. One believed. One didn’t. And one was undecided. It seems these three categories sum up the whole of humanity. Some believe the gospel. Some don’t, and some haven’t made up their minds.
Jesus patiently loved each of the three as they sooner or later came to believe in his resurrection. As a result, their lives were forever changed. He loves you with the same patience if you struggle to believe that his resurrection is proof of his power to forever change your life, as well.
Doug Boquist, Lead Pastor