The risen Jesus (1)
The event of Jesus' resurrection is all recorded in the four Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke/John). Today, I would like to testify about the resurrected Jesus centering on John 20:1-10, and next week's Wednesday worship centering on Matthew 28.
John 20:1 says, “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” Here, “the first day of the week” means Sunday. The Bible records that "Mary Magdalene" came to Jesus' tomb early while it was still dark. According to the Gospels of Matthew/Mark/Luke, at least four other women accompanied Mary Magdalene [“Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” (Mt. 28:1), “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome” (Mk. 16:1), “the women” (Lk. 24:1) “who had come with Jesus from Galilee” (23:55)]. The “stone” (Jn. 20:1) that tightly closed and sealed Jesus’ tomb (Mt. 27:66) was a large stone, like a large door that blocked the door of Jesus’ tomb. It was a stone so big that four women could never move it. But why did the angel of the Lord come down from heaven and move the stone? (Mt. 28:2) The reason is to inform (testify) of the empty tomb. In other words, the empty tomb is to testify that Jesus was resurrected as He said.
John 20:2 says, “So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’” Seeing the empty tomb of Jesus, Mary Magdalene ran to the Apostle Peter and to the Apostle John, the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them that the Lord was not in the tomb. This shows Mary Magdalene's lack of faith. In other words, if Mary Magdalene had seen Jesus' empty tomb and believed that Jesus had risen as He had said, she would have run to Apostle Peter and Apostle John and testified of Jesus' resurrection. Rather, she said, “we do not know where they have laid Him” (v. 2). In other words, she did not believe that Jesus was resurrected, so she told Apostle Peter and Apostle John that she did not know where the Lord's body (dead body) was laid. The empty tomb of Jesus clearly testifies to the resurrected Jesus. Jesus is the glorious Lord who can rise and come out of the tomb even if a large stone blocks the tomb. The gloriously resurrected Lord is the Lord who can come out of the tomb no matter how big the stone is.
John 20:3 says, “So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.” The reason Apostle Peter and Apostle John went to Jesus' tomb was because they did not believe in the resurrected Jesus. Even though they followed Jesus for three years and Jesus told them three times that He would rise again, Peter and John did not believe Jesus' word, so they ran to Jesus' tomb (v. 4). They should have gone to others and testified of the resurrected Jesus, believing in the word of Jesus that He would rise again on the third day after death, rather than going to Jesus' empty tomb.
John 20:4-8 says, “The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.” Although Apostle John ran faster than Apostle Peter and came to Jesus' tomb first, stooped down and saw the linen cloth laid there, he did not enter the empty tomb (vv. 4-5). At that time, Simon Peter, who had followed John, entered the tomb and found that the head covering of Jesus was not left with the linen cloth, but was left as it had been wrapped elsewhere (vv. 6-7). If we wrap our head with a towel, the shape of our head is round, so the towel has no choice but to be round. The towel that wrapped the head of the resurrected Jesus was still round. Peter looked closely at it and came out, and only then did the Apostle John enter the tomb, saw and believed (v. 8).
John 20:9-10 says, “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes.” Apostle John's faith is the faith of seeing and believing (v. 8), not faith in Jesus, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Apostle Peter, like Apostle John, did not yet understand what the Scripture said that Jesus would have to rise again from the dead (Jn. 20:9). Obviously, even though there are many words about the resurrection of Jesus in the Scriptures, they did not know the word that Jesus must rise again. As a result, Apostle Peter and Apostle John returned to their homes (v. 10). Faith that believes only by seeing like this is going back to one's own house without being able to go out and preach the resurrected Jesus to others.
Luke 24:7-9 says, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again. Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.” We should not have the faith to see and believe like Apostle John. But we should remember the word of Jesus that the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) must be delivered into the hands of sinners, be crucified, and rise again on the third day and believe His resurrection. And we must go to all and testify the risen Jesus. Interestingly, the chief priests and the Pharisees who had Jesus crucified remembered that Jesus had said that He would rise in three days when He was still alive. So, they came to Pilate, the Roman governor, and ask him to give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. So, with Pilate's permission, the chief priests and the Pharisees went with the guards to secure the tomb of Jesus with a stone and secured it (Mt. 27:62-66). Looking at this fact, it seems that the chief priests and the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of Jesus more than Apostle Peter or Apostle John. Our faith is a faith that sees and believes. But Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Look at John 20:27-29: “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” Jesus died “according to the Scriptures” and rose again on the third day “according to the Scriptures”. Therefore, we must believe according to the Scriptures. It is not enough to see and believe like the Apostle John. He just went home. These days, we Christians try to believe with what we have seen. These days, some people believe after hearing the words of people who have been to heaven and hell, but such faith is easy to be shaken. However, if we believe according to the Scriptures, we can live a life of faith without being shaken. Our church must be a church like the Philadelphia church (Rev. 3:7-13). We must become a church that is praised by the Lord by keeping the Lord's word of patience and not betraying the Lord's name and winning even with little power in the midst of tribulation, persecution, and suffering caused by those who belong to Satan's group. We should never be rebuked and disciplined by the Lord for living a lukewarm, neither hot nor cold life of faith, saying, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” like the Laodicea church (vv. 14-19). The Lord was resurrected according to the Scriptures. The word of the Lord says so. Therefore, we must believe in the word of the Lord's resurrection written in the Scriptures as they are, and become evangelists of Jesus Christ who tell everyone that Jesus Christ died according to the Scriptures and was resurrected according to the Scriptures.