Summary: The resurrection is the basis of eternal life that is promised to all that believe in Jesus Christ.


1. Fundamental to everything a Christian believer is the miracle of the physical resurrections of Jesus from the dead.

2. B. B. Warfield called it, “the cardinal doctrine of our system: on it all other doctrines stand.”

3. Every sermon in Acts includes the resurrection.

4. The resurrection is the basis of eternal life that is promised to all that believe in Jesus Christ.

5. The resurrection is more than an idea; it is an event in history.

Thomas Arnold, “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”


Mary’s witness (20:1-2). “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. 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!”

1. Mary Magdalene

a. First one to discover the empty tomb.

b. Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary, Luke 7:2; Mark 16:9.

c. The tradition that she had been an immoral woman before following Jesus is without any biblical support.

d. See – glance – the guards were gone and the stone rolled away. She assumed that someone had stolen the body. She did not retrace the steps to find the others but went back another way, running to tell the disciples Peter and John.

2. “While dark”

a. Jerusalem being built on the highest hill the sun jumps up suddenly.

b. Mary left home before dawn but arrived after sunrise.

c. Skotia – used metaphorical – spiritual darkness.

3. Some feel Mary went ahead saw the stone rolled away, thought the body had been stolen and returned by a different path.

4. The disciples’ witness (20:3-5). “So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.”

5. John being younger out ran Peter to the tomb, but as Mary he did not enter. Peter went right in. John was in his early to mid-20s Peter early to mid-30s.

6. Three interpretations on John’s looking in.

a. Quisnell – John represents the people who desire to look in. Peter represents the church who examines first.

b. Loisy – Peter goes in first for he represents Hellenistic Christianity.

c. John was first because he was faster had more stamina – larger and older Peter took longer. Peter examined carefully.

7. Hebrew burial

a. No embalming, Jewish custom prohibits them from handling blood.

b. The spices make a gummy ointment and the body is anointed up to the head.

c. John saw an empty shell, only the cocoon was left.

9. The disciples’ investigation (20:6-10). “Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to their homes,”

10. “To see”

a. blepei – 20:5 a quick glance. John took a quick glance into the tomb.

b. theorei – a greater intensity in the act of seeing, likely to be used of a spectator watching a sporting event or a child watching a parade. Peter theorei.

c. Eiden – 20:8 not only the physical act of seeing but also the idea of understanding or insight. John finally understood.

11. Face cloth

a. Sometimes like a small hand towel.

b. Other times like a pillowcase pulled over the head.

c. Entetuligmenon – wrapped or rolled up. Jesus or the angels took time to fold it up.

12. Wrappings like a cocoon.

a. If stolen the body would have either been unwrapped or all stolen.

b. If Jesus swooned then he would have been bound into place with the 80 pounds of spices and even if he could have gotten out of the cocoon, it would have been unwrapped.

c. As Jesus went through a closed door he went through the wrappings.

13. Condition of the disciples

a. Peter left wondering.

b. John had become the first to believe. Full faith.

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