I. "THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK COMETH MARY MAGDALENE EARLY, WHEN IT WAS YET DARK, AND SEETH THE STONE TAKEN AWAY FROM THE DOOR OF THE SEPULCHRE."
A. The Sabbath day was over, the time has come for the beginning of a new week.
1. In the scriptures, the number 8
is the number of new beginning.
a. Seven is the number of completion.
1. Seven notes on the scale.
2. Seven days in a week.
b. Significantly, 8 is the number for Jesus. Every name for Jesus in the Greek is divisible by 8.
2. He is the new beginning.
a. He brings to man a new beginning of relationship with God.
b. He brings a new beginning to your life.
3. On the seventh day God rested from His creative works, so that God blessed and hallowed the Sabbath day.
4. God rested from His work of redemption on the first day of the new week.
B. Mary Magdalene is the one from whom Jesus had cast out seven devils.
1. From that day onward, she followed Jesus and was one of the many women who went along to minister to the physical needs of Jesus and the disciples by preparing the food and mending the clothes.
2. She is named as one that was standing by the cross during the crucifixion.
3. She also followed to see where Jesus was entombed.
4. She was coming with the other ladies to the tomb to put spices on the body of Jesus. She evidently came on ahead and when she saw the stone rolled away assumed that they had moved the body of Jesus. She ran back quickly to tell Peter and John. When the other women arrived at the tomb, they saw the two angels who told them to go tell the disciples that Jesus had risen and would meet them in Galilee. They hurried off with their message. In the meantime, Peter and John had come running to the tomb, and Mary following as fast as she could. Peter and John having seen the evidence of the resurrection, left to go back to the other disciples. Mary arrived back at the tomb, and was weeping there when Jesus met her. Then as He left her, He met the other ladies on their way to tell the disciples of the resurrection.
C. The disciples were probably scattered all around Jerusalem, they were not anticipating the resurrection. The Shepherd had been smitten and the sheep had been scattered.
1. Mary ran to the house where she knew that John and Peter were staying. Mary the mother of Jesus was also there.
2. She informed them of the missing body of Jesus. Her thought was not of resurrection, but she assumed that someone had stolen the body, or moved it to a different location.
3. An interesting note at this point is the chief priests and the Pharisees had come to Pilate, and declared that they remembered that while Jesus was still alive, He said that He would rise the third day. They wished Pilate to put guards at the tomb to insure that the disciples would not come to try to secret the body of Jesus away.
4. They remembered the words of Jesus, but His disciples did not.
D. Peter and John ran to the sepulchre, and John did outrun Peter. It appears that John was probably the younger of the two. I think that they were also in competition with each other. John looked into the tomb and saw the linen clothes lying, yet went not in.
E. Then Simon Peter arrived and went into the tomb, and saw the linen clothes.
1. The Greek would indicate that the linen cloth was still wrapped in folds, the spices still between the folds, yet the body was missing.
2. It wasn't as though someone had unwrapped Him. More like His body just evaporated from out of the linen shroud.
F. The napkin that was about His head was not with the linen cloth, but was lying by itself.
1. It was the custom to wrap the head in a linen cloth separate from the body.
2. The part that was about His head was still in the folds, yet apart and separate by itself.
3. Had someone stolen or moved the body, they would have taken the wrappings with it.
4. Or as some have suggested that Jesus was just in a swoon, He would have had to unwrap the linen to get out.
5. Just the way the linen cloth was lying was proof of the fact that He had risen.
G. Different Greek words for see, are used in the text.
1. Verse 1: "Mary seeth." The Greek word is blepo, which means just that, to see.
2. Verse 5, when John looked in and saw, the same word is used.
3. When in verse 6, Peter came into the tomb and seeth the linen cloth lying there and the napkin that was about His head lying separately, the Greek word is theoreo, it is far more than just seeing, it is looking critically and carefully. It is a careful examination.
4. When John followed Peter into the sepulchre and saw, the Greek word used here is eido. The idea is not just to see, but to apprehend, to understand what it is that you are seeing.
5. It hit him that Jesus was risen from the dead. The intelligent apprehension produced absolute conviction.
6. The text tells us that he saw and believed.
H. John tells us that as yet they knew not the scripture that He should rise from the dead.
II. FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES THEY SHOULD HAVE REALIZED THIS.
A. Genesis 3
, when God said that the serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, but then the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, this following the bruising of His heel made the resurrection a necessity.
B. The deliverance of Issac from the altar after he had been dead in the mind of his father for three days. Abraham accounted that God was able to raise him from the dead if need be to keep His promise.
C. Paul tells us that Israel was baptized in the Red Sea, the coming up out of the water of baptism is a symbol of the resurrection from the dead. They came up out of the water of the Red Sea, three days after the slaying of the Pascal lamb.
D. Psalm 16:9-11
: "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth my flesh shall also rest in hope, for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither will you allow your holy One to see corruption."
E. The fact of the resurrection is the heart of the gospel, Paul said, "The gospel that I preach how that Christ was crucified according to the scriptures, and was buried according to the scriptures, and rose again the third day according to the scripture."
1. When Peter preached his sermon on the day of Pentecost, he stated seven things concerning Jesus. The fourth and central statement was that God raised Him from the dead.
2. He declared the message also on Solomon's porch to the thousands that had gathered out of curiosity of seeing the lame man walk, "You killed the Prince of life, but God raised Him from the dead."
3. Before the Sanhedrin he declared, "By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead."
F. The three persons of the Godhead were all involved in the resurrection, "Whom God has raised from the dead." "I lay My life down, that I may take it up again." "But if the Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, He shall also quicken your mortal bodies."
III. THEN THE DISCIPLES WENT AWAY AGAIN TO THEIR OWN HOME.
A. That is, John and Peter, they went home, but Mary lingered at the tomb.
B. What a day of excitement this must have been, and the day is just beginning.
1. It is no doubt still very early in the morning.
2. Before the day will pass, their personal night will have turned into the most beautiful and bright day they have ever experienced.
3. The resurrection will turn their sorrows into joy, it will bring them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for their mourning, and the garment of praise for their spirit of heaviness.
4. A new day has dawned, a new era, the power of sin has been broken, man is delivered, set free through Jesus Christ.