Text: John 20:1-18
I. Before dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb.
A. Luke tells us that there were other women with her. They had come to complete the burial preparations that they had so hastily did before the Sabbath - Luke 24:1-3
B. They were trying to figure out how they were going to get the tomb open. Apparently the stone door was too heavy for the women - Mark 16:1-3
C. To their surprise, the tomb was open - Mark 16:4
D. Matthew tells us how it happened - Matthew 28:2-4
1. An angel came down and with an earthquake opened the tomb
2. The guards were so frightened at the sight that they fainted.
E. Mary assumed that someone had taken the body of Jesus. She ran to fetch the disciples
II. Meanwhile the other ladies stood perplexed
A. Suddenly two angels appeared before them - Luke 24:4-11
1. Matthew and Mark’s account only mentions the one angel who addressed the women.
B. They reminded the women that Jesus said he would arise.
C. They were so frightened and astonished that they left trembling and did not speak to anyone - Mark 16:8
D. Later they, too, told the disciples, but they were not believed
III. Meanwhile, Peter and John ran to the tomb after hearing Mary’s report.
A. John, being faster, arrived first. He looked into the tomb, but did not enter.
1. What he saw was the linen wrapping rolled neatly to one side
B. Peter, the bolder one, entered the tomb
1. He saw that even the face cloth was rolled up neatly. It was on the other side of the tomb.
2. If someone was going to steal the body, they would not bother to unwrap the body, neatly fold the wrappings and leave with just the body.
C. John then entered the tomb and based on what he saw, he believed though the disciples still did not understand what the Scriptures meant by his rising again.
1. By this, I take it that neither John nor Peter told Mary what they suspected.
D. Peter and John returned to their homes
IV. Mary, however, remained behind, weeping that someone would be so cruel as to steal the body of her Lord.
A. She looked up and saw two angels. They asked her why she was crying.
B. When she explained, she turned and saw a man, whom she suppose was the caretaker of the cemetery.
C. He, too, asked her why she was weeping.
D. Mary asked that if he had taken Jesus’ body, just let her know where it was and she would remove the body.
E. At this Jesus called her name and Mary realized to whom she was speaking.
F. She cried out “teacher!” and clung to him.
G. Jesus reproves her, explaining he had not yet returned to the Father (in other words, he was still here on earth alive) and that she had work to do.
H. Jesus sent Mary to tell the disciples that he will be ascending to the Father soon.
I. Mary hasten to spread the glad tidings, but the disciples refused to believe her - Mark 16:9-11
V. What happened to the guards?
A. They left and reported what happened - Matthew 28:11-15
B. While they were bribed to lie, it is odd that their story, if true would have meant their death. Instead, the Jews never pressed charges.