John Lesson 28 Day 2
After the Sabbath, as the light of the next day, the first day of the week, crept over Palestine, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb to keep vigil. 2 Earlier there had been an earthquake. A messenger of the Lord had come down from heaven and had gone to the grave. He rolled away the stone and sat down on top of it. 3 He veritably glowed. He was vibrating with light. His clothes were light, white like transfiguration, like fresh snow. 4 The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified. They froze like stone.
The messenger spoke to the women, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
Messenger of the Lord: Don’t be afraid. I know you are here keeping watch for Jesus who was crucified. 6 But Jesus is not here. He was raised, just as He said He would be. Come over to the grave, and see for yourself. 7 And then go straight to His disciples, and tell them He’s been raised from the dead and has gone on to Galilee. You’ll find Him there. Listen carefully to what I am telling you.
8 The women were both terrified and thrilled, and they quickly left the tomb and went to find the disciples and give them this outstandingly good news. Matthew 28:1-8 (Voice)
3. a. Upon hearing the news, Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
It seems that Peter and John were together or lived near each other. Again, John doesn’t mention his own name out of humility.
Both Matthew and John mention that Peter was the first to run toward the tomb.
They both ran, but John, a younger man, outran Peter.
When John arrived, he looked into the tomb but did not go in. The Greek, John “clearly saw…the grave wrappings of Jesus still in the tomb.” (Guzik) Some think John’s sensitive nature kept him from going in. Tenney suggests, “Either he felt that he should not enter the tomb out of respect for the dead, or else he feared the ceremonial defilement of touching a corpse.”
Peter just rushed in. “This action-oriented impulsiveness was characteristic of Peter. John wanted to stop and think about it, but Peter went right in.” (Guzik)
“The whole point of the description is that the grave-clothes did not look as if they had been put off or taken off; they were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them.” (Barclay)
After Peter told John what he saw, John entered the tomb also.
The other disciple (John)…also went inside. He saw and believed. (John 20:8 NIV)
“John believed, but Peter was still in the dark. Again the former had outrun his friend.” (Maclaren)
b. Curious and diligent
In shocking situations, I sometimes stop and think, but I can also barge right into potentially dangerous situations out of curiosity.
When it comes to Bible study, prayer, and worship, my interest, curiosity, fascination, and passion increase almost daily. My favorite scriptures are the ones about seeking God.
Although it feels like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are hiding sometimes, I now realize that in the pursuit of His face, we change.
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4 (AMPC)
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Proverbs 8:17
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)
4. The empty tomb
Until I studied this portion of the story more closely, I assumed and/or heard someone teach that the cloth covering Jesus’ head was not left near the other wrappings. One teacher even suggested Jesus purposely folded the head cloth like we fold a napkin at a restaurant—to let the waiter know we will return. (A quick look at online dining etiquette guides vary. Since the sites I consulted refer to 21st Century dining, it’s unlikely our rules apply to Jesus’ day anyway.)
Peter and John saw no sign that grave robbers or vandals entered the tomb.
They saw no sign the grave clothes were cut off, pulled off, or unwound by Jesus or anyone else.
The cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head: “This means the headcloth still retained the shape the contour Jesus’ head had given it and that It was still separated from the other wrappings by a space that suggested the distance between the neck of the deceased and the upper chest, where the wrappings of the body would have begun.” (Tenney) (via Guzik)
Jesus either caused the tight linen wrappings to fall from His body miraculously or His resurrected body miraculously passed through the linen wrappings, leaving them just as they were where He was lying (except for the face-cloth), unlike Lazarus who emerged from the tomb and had to be released from the wrappings. In either case, the grave wrappings would collapse on themselves on the flat surface of the slab where His body had been placed. The text also indicates that Jesus may have removed the face-cloth Himself once His hands were free, and neatly placed it apart from the other wrappings. Footnote in AMPC
When John saw the grave clothes undisturbed by human hands, he did not entertain logical explanations. There was no doubt. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is alive!
5. Jesus had to come back to life. John 20:9b (God’s Word Translation)
Because of Jesus’ miraculous resurrection—
- Jesus was declared and proved to be the Son of God by the Spirit of Holiness. (Romans 1:4)
- We believe that “in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14 HCSB)
- The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, (he was raised to life) to set us right with God. (Romans 4:25 MSG)
- God has an eternal plan for our bodies. (Guzik and Morgan)
- Jesus’ ministry continues. “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25 NLT)
- We have the confident hope he given to us as His set-apart ones—His holy people and the rich and glorious riches He is preparing as our inheritance. (Ephesians 1:18)
- Christianity and its God are unique and completely different and unique among world religions. (Guzik)
MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF study questions on John Lesson 28 Day 2