Summary: 4 eyewitness accounts of the resurrection of Jesus: Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, and Thomas, as pictures seen in John Chapter 20
See # 534, 638, 854, Sack.105, 12Dis.004
From the pulpit of Bayview Baptist Church, Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001
“ 4 Perspectives”
Text: John Chapter 20
I’m always amazed at how a person can recall different personal perspectives from the exact same event!
There’s an old story of a dead mule lying beside a long South Carolina highway.
Many people passed by and expressed the horror of seeing a dead mule lying beside the highway.
Then came along a wise man, who looked upon the repulsive dead mule and said, “What beautiful teeth that mule had!”
However obscure hidden beauty may seem at first, we can all rest assured that it is there!
The same is often true of our faith!
Christianity is a belief system based upon our personal faith and God’s amazing grace!
This belief system has its foundation upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for it was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that proves Christ to be exactly who He claims to be.
Had there been no resurrection, the cross would have been an absolute disaster, and the Christian religion would have become just another religion in a world of religions containing no hope.
We have 4 gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are what are known as the Synoptic Gospels, meaning they are from the same perspective.
John, on the other hand, is not a Synoptic Gospel, in that John is obviously written from a different perspective.
This morning, we look at 4 individual perspectives concerning the resurrection of Christ.
These 4 people are mentioned by name.
I. The first person mentioned by name in John Chapter 20 is Mary Magdalene.
Read John 20:1-2; 10-18
Mary Magdalene had become a follower and believer in Jesus during the early Galilean ministry or our Lord, after Christ cast out from her 7 devils (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2), which by the way is a complete number signifying that Mary was completely healed.
She then became one of Christ’s most devoted followers, and was one of the little company of Christ’s immediate followers who ministered to Christ with their stewardship.
It was Mary Magdalene who was one of the women at the cross, and who was an eyewitness account of our Lord’s burial in the tomb borrowed from Joseph of Arimathaea, the member of the Jewish Sanhedrin ruling body who had become a secret follower of Jesus.
It was early on the third day, which we attribute to Easter Sunday morning, that we find Mary Magdalene, along with the other Mary, wife of Clopas and Salome, going to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.
God wanted credible eyewitnesses to the empty tomb, so when Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb, she and the other Mary found immediately that the heavy stone weighing over 1,000 pounds had been rolled away, or removed from the entrance of the tomb.
Mary quickly returned to Jerusalem and told Peter and John that the body of Jesus had been stolen; for to Mary, that had to be the only solution to the fact that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb.
Mary Magdalene is like so many Christians today.
She went to the tomb, but she did not expect a miracle.
From Mary’s perspective, she missed the miracle of God’s work because she was not looking for God to work in a mighty and powerful way.
You know this kind of person.
It’s the person who can give you 40 different reasons why something cannot be done, and then they can back up those 40 reasons with 40 more reasons why if it is done, everything will be wrong.
I remember in a previous church situation, our Property Committee was undertaking a new project to construct an out door picnic shelter.
We had the blueprints drawn, and the deacons were looking over the drawings, and one well-meaning deacon spoke up.
He said, “You can see from the blueprints that it will never work!”
He continued to say that the ceilings were too high and there was no way in the world we could ever heat and cool this type of building.
Of course, we had no intention of providing heating and cooling because it was an outdoor picnic shelter designed with open walls.
Mary Magdalene was that kind of person.
She simply could not believe what was before her eyes.
Mary was in for a glorious surprise as she made her progression from deep despondency to resurrection joy.
She was like so many people today who learn over and over again that nothing is impossible with God.
II. The second person mentioned by name in John Chapter 20 is the Disciple, Simon Peter.
Read John 20:3-9
Don’t you love the stories in the Bible about Simon Peter.