Saturday, February 18, 2012

John 20 1 to 8

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

Key Observation:
John is the first believer in the resurrected Lord.

What a privilege to be chosen as the first believer! I know not what a Christian was before the cross; Jesus chose many to follow Him, and as I can best guess, they were believers. But weren’t they believers without content? To take away the resurrection of Christ is to take away everything, for it is the hope of all of Christianity. Says McGee: “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heart-blood of the Christian faith. It is so important that someone has said, “We cannot make too much of the death of Christ, but we can make too little of the resurrection of Christ.””

Mary assumes the worst; evidently Peter is overwhelmed with grief at the thought of someone stealing the body—it is John who first understands what the linen clothes signal, before Christ had even appeared. What a mercy it is to study the life of Jesus through His best friend. In the last chapter, I saw John struggling with the crucifixion. I recall that John, alone, of all the apostles was present to see the crucifixion. He does give us the cry of Jesus concerning the giving of His own mother to the care of John, but is really sketchy over the gruesome details of the cross. I submit that even in his old age, John remembered the cross all too well, and did not want to dwell on what happened that tragic day.

Contrast the end of chapter nineteen, the narration of the cross (a bare 21 verses), with that of the resurrection, which takes up all of chapters 20 and 21, approximately twice the verses. John recognized the importance of the resurrection! Paul, too, recognizes the power of the resurrection: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Peter, not to be left behind, also tells me of its importance: “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” I might well note that without the resurrection Christianity would become the most empty religion imaginable.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness says the hymn. I might well add that my hope is also in His resurrection, for that resurrection represents the complete and total victory over sin.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 104100-104101). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

My Hope Is Built

1. My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

2. When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.

4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!

Text: Edward Mote, 1797-1874
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868
Tune: THE SOLID ROCK, Meter: LM with Refrain

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