An Empty Tomb

In John 20:1-15, we learn that Jesus was resurrected and he reveals himself for the first time.

Mary Magdalene, in the middle of the night, walked to Jesus’s tomb and noticed the stone covering the entrance had been rolled away. That stone had been placed there to seal the tomb and two roman soldiers were on guard to prevent someone from stealing Jesus’ body. Yet, John makes no mention of the guards and the tomb was open. When Mary saw this she took off running and told Peter and John. They hear the news and take off running back to the tomb. *

When they looked into the tomb they saw the burial cloths lying there orderly. If Jesus’s body had been stolen by thieves then the burial cloths would have been strewn. And if someone had unwrapped Jesus’s body then there would have been a mess.

“Prepared for burial, those strips of linen cloths were smeared with ointments and aloes and spices, and the linen cloths were applied in several layers. The mixture of ointments and aloes and spices would dry and harden the linen cloths, making something of a mummy or a cocoon. The normal removal of these burial wrappings would require some tearing or cutting.”

Therefore, seeing the burial cloths so neatly laid out would look as if Jesus’s body just evaporated. 

The disciples left and Mary stayed and wept. Then two angels appeared asking her why she was crying. After she responded, she turned around and saw Jesus. She didn’t recognize him right away, but the fact remains, Jesus resurrected chose to appear to a woman first. A woman was chosen to be the first to spread the news of Jesus’s resurrection. 

*Side note that made me laugh: David Guzik points out that as John is describing what happened, he is humble enough to not mention himself by name, but he is proud enough to point out the fact that he beat Peter back to the tomb (v. 4). 🤣

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