Monday, December 28, 2015
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.” (John 20:1-2)
Long before sunrise, Mary Magdalene and the other women came to the tomb to finish the burial process. When they saw the stone rolled away and were told that Jesus was not there, they returned to the city and told the apostles. They were quite upset because they didn’t know where the body had been taken.
“Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:3-9)
Peter and John then went to the sepulcher, to see what was going on. John ran ahead while Peter walked with Mary Magdalene. When he got there John just looked inside and saw the grave clothes lying there empty, so he knew it was the right place. Peter barged right on into the sepulcher. When he did, he saw that the cloth that had been wrapped around his head was folded up and lying separate from the rest of the wrappings. John followed Peter in and saw it as well, and believed what Jesus had said, although they still didn’t understand he would be resurrected.
The description of the grave clothes, with a separate cloth wrapped around the head so that it could be opened to identify the body and the remainder tightly wrapped in similar to a mummy to limit the bloating as the body decayed is typical of Jewish burials of the time. The description, and the fact that Jesus was not in the grave long enough to decay makes it very clear the Shroud of Turin cannot have been Jesus’ burial cloths, despite the traditions.
“Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?
She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary.
She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. ” (John 20:10-17)
Mary remained at the sepulcher after John and Peter left, still concerned about what had happened to the body. Looking into the tomb, she saw the two angels sitting where the body had been. When they asked why she was crying, she said it was because she didn’t know where the body was and turned away. Not expecting to see Jesus, she didn’t assumed he was one of the gardeners and didn’t recognize him until he called her by name. He told her not to touch him because he had not yet ascended into heaven to complete his offering on the altar there. He told her to go and tell the Apostles that He was going into heaven at that time.
“Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” (John 20:18)
Mary obeyed, telling the disciples she had seen the Lord and talked to him. Apparently there was quite bit of discussion throughout the day Sunday.
“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19-20)
About sundown that same evening, the disciples were hiding from the Jews and had shut the doors to keep from being seen. Jesus suddenly appeared among them, telling them not be afraid and showing the wounds in his hands and side so they would know it was really him.
“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. “ (John 20:21-23)
Jesus then gave them a brief description of what their job would be in the future, designating them to receive the Holy Spirit, although as we saw in John 15, he could not come until Jesus ascended into heaven. Just as he had promised earlier, they would have the power to make sure people were saved during this life, and not have to wait until they get to heaven to find out.