Reading For Thursday John 20:1-31
Grave-robbing had become such a problem within the Roman Empire that it was eventually declared a crime punishable by death. Probably the value of the myrrh and aloes would have made the body a valuable commodity. When Mary discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, she assumed that the body had been stolen. She reported the news to the disciples. They ran to the tomb in order to investigate the story. It seems that the disciples were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead. They found the linen and spices, but the body was gone and the burial cloth that had been wrapped around the head was lying there. This probably wasn't the work of grave-robbers because no one would take a body and leave the valuable linen and spices. They saw and believed but still did not fully understand. They departed and returned to their homes.
Mary stayed, she was broken-hearted and perplexed. Mary’s attention moved to the two angels dressed in white. The angels asked Mary why she was crying? She replied, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." She turns to see Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. She thought instead that he was the gardener and wondered if he knew where the body had been moved to. When Jesus called her name, there was a sudden recognition and she cried out in Aramaic, Rabboni. Mary was clinging to Jesus but Jesus told her to go and tell the disciples of his resurrection. Mary announced that she had seen the Lord.
Even though the doors were locked, Jesus appeared. He stood there and showed them the scars in his hands and side he proved that it was actually him, the one who was crucified and now risen. Christ greets them by repeatedly saying peace be with you and tells them that as the Father had sent him, he was sending them. Jesus breathing and statement pointed to the promised empowering they would know when they carried out their gospel work. Perhaps it was to comfort them and assure them that when the time came for them to be his witnesses, they would not be on their own. Thomas was not present and he questioned the resurrection. He came face to face with the risen Christ who exhorted him to believe. Thomas’s reaction is the demand of the Gospel, recognizing Jesus as Lord. Jesus blesses those that believe without seeing and John explains his purpose for the book. Jesus did many things, but these were recorded that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ and have life in his name.
Things To Consider:
- Why is the missing body significant?
- How do you respond when you do not find what you are looking for?
- Do you ever struggle to see Jesus when you are suffering?
- What do you do when this happens?
- Why did Jesus ascend to the Father?
- How is Jesus' resurrection peaceful?
- What does it mean to live sent?
- Can faith and doubt coexist? For how long?
- How do we see through the eyes of faith?
- How should we read John's Gospel in light of what he tells us in 20:30-31?