November 29, 2022
Jesus did not stay dead; He defeated the grave! In His resurrection, Jesus fulfills His promises, and hope is not extinguished. Jesus Christ is the giver of life. Only through belief in Him do we have peace, a purpose, and assurance of salvation.
[B]ut these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' 1 20:7 Greek his head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, 2 20:16 Or Hebrew “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, 3 20:19 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, 4 20:24 Greek Didymus was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Y'all, the Good News doesn't end at the cross. Jesus is resurrected, and our King has the final victory! If the book of John ended at the end of John 19, we would have no reason for hope. The next chapter—John 20—displays Jesus' character and how His resurrection leads to peace, purpose, and life.
Before the crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples many times that He would die but then rise again. In their humanity, the disciples mourned the death of their teacher and friend. They feared for their own safety. They forgot the hope Jesus had promised. But on the third day, that hope was realized.
John 20 details three encounters with the resurrected Christ. In His first interaction, Jesus calls Mary by name. He intentionally calls and chooses her, and her eyes are opened. He meets her with gentle intentionality. Then when Jesus appears to His disciples, Jesus brings peace, assurance, and joy. He gives His disciples a mission and a purpose to keep believing and sharing what they have witnessed. Later, Jesus is patient with Thomas and reassures him of truth, entreating Thomas to believe. Jesus knows that life is only found in Himself.
That same Jesus calls each of His followers today by name. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see our dire need for Him. Then, we understand that Jesus has paid the price for our sins that we could never pay and that He rose again and is alive today. We are not asked to "clean ourselves up" or "be good enough." We are simply called to believe in Christ! And in believing this good news, we experience peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).
He also gives His followers—including us—a purpose. Just as the Father sent Jesus, He sends us to share the good news of the gospel with others. We are not called to have all the answers or to maintain a "perfect" image. We are simply called to believe, and that belief brings us eternal life.
1. In this passage, we see many facets of Jesus' character. How do you personally view the character of God, and what has led you to this view?
2. How does it impact you to know that you are chosen by God, and that you cannot and do not earn your salvation? Why do you think we commonly forget this truth?
3. Where are you tempted to find your peace, purpose, and life outside of Christ? Spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord where you struggle to fully trust Him. Remember that the Lord isn't frustrated with you but gently invites you to find complete assurance in Him.