Saturday, June 14, 2014

John 20:1-10

John 20:1-10
And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene comes early while still being dark into the tomb.  And she sees the stone having been carried away out of the tomb.  Therefore she runs and comes to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus was loving and she says to them, “They carried away the Lord out of the tomb and we have not known where they put Him.”  Therefore Peter and the other disciple went out and were coming into the tomb.  And the two together were running.  And the other disciple ran quickly before Peter and came first into the tomb.  And after stooping down to look he sees the linen cloth while lying there.  However, he did not enter in.  Therefore Simon Peter also comes while following him and he entered into the tomb.  He also observed the linen cloth while lying there as well as the facecloth which was upon His head.  It was not with the linen cloth laying there but having been separately rolled up into one place.  Therefore, then the other disciple – the one who came first into the tomb – also came in and he saw and he believed, for they had not yet known the scripture that it was necessary for Him to rise out of the dead.  Therefore the disciples again went away to their own homes.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Since I spoke about perfect passives yesterday, it only makes sense to carry that understanding into the resurrection.  In John 20:1 we have another perfect passive: “having been carried away” (ρμένον).  Again we see the hand of God involved in this part of the story of Jesus.  It is God who moved the stone.  It is God who paved the way for Jesus to come out of the tomb.  It is the Father who did the heavy lifting during the resurrection of Jesus.  The Father did not abandon Jesus when the sin of the world was piled upon Him.  The Father was there not only to pave the way for His burial but to also pave the way for His resurrection.

As I asked yesterday, how does this speak to you about God’s love?  How does this demonstrate the steadfast nature of His love for you?

Second Thought:

I do not think we should gloss over the fact that it was believing women who are the first witness of the resurrection.  They went to the tomb first.  They saw the evidence first.  They were on their way to finish the burial preparations that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had started before Passover.  They were faithfully doing the work of God.  Because of their faithfulness to God and His Son, they are in a position to be the first witnesses.  We must also remember that in Jesus’ day the testimony of a woman was not usually admissible in a court.  So when we put this all together, we discover a bold new truth.  The cross and the resurrection irrevocably change the world.  God Himself chooses faithfulness over gender.  God Himself takes these faithful women – women whose testimony the world considered unreliable – and makes them the first witnesses to the full understanding of His plan of salvation.  We’ll hear more about this tomorrow.

What does this part of the story tell you about what God values?  What does the world tell you that it values?  How is this different than what God desires?  What does this story tell you that you need to do in order to put yourself in the best place to see God’s hand at work in the world around you?

Third Thought:

With respect to Peter and the other disciple, we need to be very careful not to make John’s account a competition.  It’s not like the disciple who got there first loved Jesus more.  It isn’t that Peter loved Jesus more because he was the first one brave enough to go in.  Rather, both men should be praised for their devotion to Jesus.  They both come running when Mary reports that the body is missing.  At the same time, though, we get a good perspective on humanity and God.  Jesus had told the disciples that He would die and be raised on the third day.  Yet they didn’t get it.  For the record, the women didn’t get it, either.  If they had, they wouldn’t have gone running to Peter!  The disciples can see the evidence before them, but God’s work is so incredible that they cannot figure it out.  They go to their own homes, wondering what on earth is happening.  They will need to be told – and we’ll get to that in the next few days.  But here’s the really neat part.  God isn’t offended that they don’t get it.  God doesn’t reject them because they can’t figure it out.  As we’ll see, Jesus will come to them, explain everything, and invite them into that deeper relationship.  God has the same perspective for us, too.  We need not understand everything before doing.  Full comprehension is never a requirement for being a part of God’s plan.  Willingness and faithfulness is what God asks.  Comprehension will come later.

Does this teaching help ease your mind about what it takes to be a disciple?  Why is it good to hear that you don’t have to understand everything as long as you are willing?  Are you willing to learn and grow in Christ?

Passage for Tomorrow: John 20:11-18
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