My sincere apologies for missing last Friday, Monday, and Tuesday of this week. I was helping my parents move closer to me and my life was not my own. What I have learned through this experience is that skipping your devotions because you think you're too busy is a terrible idea. Now that we've been sharing the Scriptures together for all these years, you would think I would know better. Apparently I don't. So again, I'm sorry for the lapse. Maybe I'll do better next time. On with today's entry!
1Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Here we have a first person account of finding the tomb of Jesus empty. “The other disciple” referred to in this passage is John himself. We know from the other three Gospel accounts that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb at sunrise with Mary, Jesus’ mother, as well as at least one other woman (also named Mary). They were going there to finish the job of preparing the body for final burial as there wasn’t time on Friday before the beginning of the Sabbath. When the women found the tomb empty of course their first instinct was to go and find the Disciples. They would need to take action immediately to find the body. These few verses tell us so much about the people involved in this amazing miracle. A Man has walked out of the grave. Death has been conquered and it takes His followers by surprise. It shouldn’t have if they had listened to Him. But how could they possibly be expected to even imagine these events.
We learn that Peter remains true to himself. While John arrives at the tomb first (probably because he was younger and could run faster) he is reticent to go in and look around. Peter on the other hand charges right in, remaining true the impetuous nature we have come to expect from him.
The momentous nature of these events cannot be overstated. Jesus has risen from the dead. We’ve heard other stories of people emerging from death such as Lazarus, Peter’s mother-in-law, and Jarius’ daughter. But in the case of Jesus, He resurrects Himself. While these people were indeed brought back from death, their resurrections were not permanent. They aren’t here today. They died again. But Jesus is resurrected to live again forever. Because He conquered the grave, so too shall we when He returns for us. Once again I fear that we read these words and just kind of skim over them because we’ve heard them so often and think we know what they mean. Read the passage again and let the import of this event sink in to your heart. Jesus lives forever and so shall we.