Summary: 3 reactions to Jesus' resurrection


What is your reaction to the resurrection?


Let’s learn about some typical reactions to the resurrection.


We will look at John 20:1-18 and three reactions to Jesus’ resurrection.

John 20:1-5 They Have Taken Away the Lord

Mary Magdalene was from Magdala a wealthy town on Lake Galilee. John 20:1-5 records that she went to Jesus’ grave site early in the morning perhaps just to see it. She had accompanied the disciples on their travels and contributed to their support financially. Had Jesus’ body been moved? Mary ran to Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. Although he arrived first, the disciple that Jesus loved seems to have deferred to Peter to enter the tomb. Peter’s denials do not seem to have damaged his reputation among the disciples, probably because they all knew that they had fled and Peter at least had stayed around for a while.

John 20:6-9 He Saw and Believed

Written as an eyewitness account, John 20:6-9 details what Peter saw when he looked into Jesus’ tomb, the burial cloths and the head cloth rolled up separately but no body. Then the beloved disciple went in and believed, implying that he was now convinced. Perhaps this was not yet a full resurrection faith, “For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead,” (verse 9; Psalm 16:8-11; Psalm 22:16-24; Isaiah 53:3-12) but it was a beginning. Jesus had earlier said, “I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.” (John 14:29).

John 20:10-16 Woman, Why are You Crying

After investigating Jesus’ empty grave two of the disciples went to their separate homes (John 20:10-16). Mary Magdalene was left crying at the tomb. Looking inside, she saw something quite different to what the two men described. Mary saw two angels. They asked her, ““Woman, why are you weeping?” In very personal terms she described Jesus as “my Lord.” Unlike the disciple that Jesus loved, who simply believed, Mary’s focus was on the missing body. Then Jesus asked her the same question adding “Whom are you seeking?” At first she thought he was the gardener and then He spoke her name, “Mary.” She seems to have immediately recognized his voice.

John 20:16-18 My Teacher

After our risen Lord called out Mary Magdalene’s name, she addressed Him very personally, “?aßß????” (rabbouni, my Teacher). He asked her not to touch him because he had not yet ascended to heaven and she needed to go to the other disciples and tell them that Jesus is ascending to His and her Father and His and her God. Jesus told Peter, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” (John 13:36) But, he told Mary the disciples were his brothers. Mary exclaimed to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” John saw the empty tomb and believed. Mary heard Jesus and believed.


This was a story of three reactions to the resurrection. Sometimes we see evidence that Jesus was here and believe, sometimes we see it and don’t know what we believe, and sometimes through a veil of tears in our grief Jesus calls our name and we believe.

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