Summary: Message 47 in our journey through John's gospel. This message explore the resurrection account.
Pastor David Welch
“Blessed Believers” John 20
The 20th chapter of John relates the next phase of God’s eternal plan. Paul summarized the gospel message to a group of Christians in Corinth.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 1 Cor. 15:1-8
Jesus died for OUR sins according to the Scripture and to prove he died, he was buried. Jesus was raised on the 3rd day according to Scriptures and to prove he rose he appeared.
John, an eyewitness of the events, shares how he remembered it.
We learn from the other writers that a huge, heavy stone had been rolled in front of the burial cave and that the religious leaders had convinced Pilate to place a Roman guard detail to prevent anyone from stealing the body and claiming a resurrection had occurred. Mary found the stone moved aside -- no guards – no body. God moved the stone, not so Jesus could get out but so that the disciples could get in.
She is not thinking a miracle had taken place but mischief. She fears that the remains of her Lord will be disrespected. She ran to get help.
Even with some pretty convincing evidence in front of their face, these two close disciples failed to connect with the Scripture orchestrating all these events. John believed something out of the ordinary had taken place. Peter, privy to the identical data seemed not yet so convinced. Jesus had been tightly wrapped and bound in fabric layered with some 100 pounds of spices and preservatives. Just by the order in which things appeared dictated a closer examination. If someone had taken the body, they wouldn’t leave the wrappings. If they had unwrapped the body, the wrappings would be all over the place. These wrappings were as if the body had passed right though them.
Peter and John not knowing just what to think or do next went home. John perhaps rejoicing Peter most likely reflecting Mary just hung out and cried.
Think about this. Angel sightings were not all that common. Here two angels in glowing white all of a sudden materialize in the previously empty tomb.
You would think Mary would be impressed or at least curious. She had become so fixated on what happened to the body of Jesus that it is the only thing on her mind.
Something in the voice, something in the way Jesus spoke brought immediate recognition.
She heard the Master speak her name numerous times throughout the course of her life. “Mary!” Now what would have been your first reaction? Throw your arms around Him of course. This is a controversial passage that has fostered much speculation as to what is going on. Considering the word used and the verb tense, a more accurate translation would be “stop clinging to me.” The word used here means “to handle, cling to, fasten, lay hold of”. The part of speak used is a present tense imperative.
Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; John 20:17a
Jesus seems to indicate a new relationship. He discourages her from fixating on things as they were before. That one-on-one physically focused fellowship is how reserved for eternity. Jesus would be ascending to His father allowing his presence to be experienced simultaneously to all believers in all generations by the coming ministry of the Holy Spirit.
He assigned her to relay the good news of His resurrection to the others. Jesus also instituted another name change. Servants-friends-brothers.
The evening of that same day the disciples came together with great anticipation.
Jesus appeared through closed doors. That had to be a disconcerting thing. Immediately, Jesus set their hearts at ease by pronouncing peace. No one could say “Peace!” like the Prince of Peace himself. My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. How comforting to note here that Jesus did not come with condemnation or scolding.