Scripture reading for June 1st: John 20:1-31
After witnessing the mockery of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion the disciples were filled with grief. They had left everything to follow Jesus and had been so full of joy at what they learned in His presence. They had heard Him tell them about going away and then they would see Him again, but they really did not understand. Now they felt hopeless, not knowing what to do next. But they had not seen the last of Jesus! He was not dead, but alive!
The women who were close to Jesus were the first to see Jesus alive. John tells about Mary Magdalene who had gone to the garden tomb while it was still dark. (Luke mentions “women”.) When she arrived, the stone was rolled away from the tomb. Mary Magdalene ran and told Peter and John, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” (John 20:2) John records that he outran Peter, but Peter arrived and went in first to examine the tomb. There were the strips of cloth that had been used to wrap the body lying there. The burial cloth that had covered His head was neatly folded, separate from the linen. The body was gone. John records that he saw and believed. (John 20:8-9) They did not understand from Scripture about the resurrection, however. Jesus would later show them this!
After the disciples went back home, Mary stood there by the tomb, weeping. She looked back into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had laid. They asked her, “Woman why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put Him. At this she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.” Jesus spoke to her and she thought it was the gardener until He spoke her name, “Mary”. She was told to go and tell “My brothers” that Jesus was alive! (John 20:15-18)
Finally, Jesus showed Himself to the brothers, coming into a locked room without assistance. He showed them his hands and side. He spoke peace to their troubled souls and gave them a gift, breathing on them! “Receive the Holy Spirit!” (John 20:22) The second Adam was a life-giving Spirit!