Summary: The scrpture’s account in John chapter 20 of when Mary Magdalene encountered the living Christ at the tomb that first Easter morning.
A WOMAN’S REPORT John 20:1-18
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Now Peter, speaking to Cornelius and a Gentile crowd, preaches that God is no respecter of persons…that Jesus is Lord of all, the judge of both the living and the dead. He is a witness to the bodily resurrection of Jesus because he not only saw him, but ate with him and heard him speak.
1. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Here Paul is saying that the way a believer participates in Christ’s death is that we become dead to the things of this world and because of his resurrection we become more alive to the eternal things in the world to come.
We are not trying to live a Christian life by discipline, but by faith in the finished work of Christ on our behalf. We know that Christ living in us is the hope of glory. This all happens because our new relationship to the living Christ has resulted in a transformation in us that is similar to a resurrection from death to life.
Not that we are so “heavenly minded” we are no earthly good, in fact, quite the opposite. We live in the “nasty now and now” so that others see a glimpse of what life will be like in the “sweet by and by”: caring for individuals as Christ did, alleviating suffering, being socially responsible, mending broken relationships and pointing the way to God.
Now in our focal passage we look at what happened on that first Easter morning:
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”