Have you ever completely invested in something you felt really good about, but at the same time could not help but battle with a twinge of skepticism or doubt? Then, that moment comes! The moment that either brings a deep satisfaction of time/effort/money/etc well spent, or the moment that immediately throws up red flags screaming, “Run away! Run away!”
John 20:1-10 — “Now 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. 2 So 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.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.”
Today, as you are probably well aware, is Resurrection Sunday! It is the day when believers across the world celebrate the day Jesus Christ neatly folded his face cloth up, placed it on the cold limestone, & walked out of the tomb, conquering death! Today, we get the benefit of reflecting back to the reality that Mary, Peter, & John witnessed as they visited the tomb. Too often, however, we take this reality for granted. Or maybe it has not truly set in for us as one. Maybe you are still battling with a bit of skepticism. Do me a favor, and for a moment, put yourself in their position. More specifically, look at this story from John’s perspective.
You had invested 3 years of your life in a man you just saw unjustifiably killed. You loved Jesus. You gave up your profession to follow Him. You believed in Him. Once Jesus uttered His final words on the cross, however, are you feeling that same twinge of skepticism? As the hours passed by, I cannot help but wonder if he was anything like you and I, worrying, doubting & fearing his suddenly unclear future? Not knowing, after all, can be paralyzingly intimidating, right?!
Then, all of the sudden, you hear Mary running and screaming that the body of your teacher is gone! You and Simon Peter take off down the road until you come to the tomb entrance and upon arriving, peak your head inside. Although Peter storms inside to get a closer look, you have already seen enough. There it is. His linens and face cloth are there, but His body is not.
The Greek word used for “saw” in verse 5 is blepō, which means to simply glance and understand. In other words, immediately to John, it was that moment for him. Everything he had learned from His Rabbi suddenly made sense! All doubt was gone. Any fear of an unknown future was wiped out. Jesus had to rise from the dead! Jesus, John’s Lord and John’s Savior was ALIVE!
Now back to today, Sunday April 5, 2015. We get the privilege of having God’s inerrant Word as proof that Jesus Christ, God’s own Son came to earth for me and for you. He bore our sin on the cross, and then rose again on this day conquering sin and shame! It is imperative that we try to grasp this truth without a doubt.
Today, as you read this passage from John again, I pray that you experience that moment of truth John had at the doorstep of the tomb. To see Jesus as the resurrected Lord, for who He truly is, and realize, once and for all that He is ALIVE!