John Chapter 20

For New International Version

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. 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.

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

We’ve almost come to the end of the Gospels- and finding ways to learn from 4 different books on the same events has been an amazing time, but not always easy.  When the events of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection are told from four unique perspectives, and eye witness accounts, it’s hard to find something new, some missed tidbit.

So, we come to the 2nd last chapter of the Gospel of John-  with the part of the greatest story ever told which gives the most hope- and without it, there would be no Gospel, or good news. Such as it is also with the account of the horrific and torturous death that Jesus suffered for all.

The third day… an amazing, unimaginable and soon to be joyous day as the women near the burial place of their Lord, their Rabbi, and friend.  Turns into confusion and despair for Mary until Jesus says her name, and she hears her Shepherd’s voice.

I can’t imagine, no matter how much I would love to, what she felt in those few minutes when she recognized Him!  Shock yes, but Unspeakable Joy!

Yes, we sing this song at Christmas time, but in actuality, it’s a song about what’s yet to come.

Joy to the world, The Savior Reigns!  Unspeakable Joy!

Try and imagine that morning…

Peter and John arrive at the tomb.  From the words of Jesus, “It is finished” to the sight of the empty wrappings and neatly folded face covering, it shows God’s merciful, loving and gracious plan, executed with precision and detail.  No, there’s no fanciful extra spiritual significance of the folded face covering, only further proof that Jesus rose bodily and in order, leaving the body wrapping empty and taking time to fold the face covering.  Nothing chaotic or messy about our Risen Lord.

From the disciples getting to finally see for themselves, the physical Lord, who ate with them, and seeing the nail scarred hands, the pierced side, “touch, put your fingers here” to the doubter who doubted no more…

Representing all of us who have our times when we believe, but need to really believe

He is our Lord, who accepts us in the messes we are. He is our King, our Messiah, He is

And while we will never be good enough on our own to gain a place in His Kingdom, His worth, for all He has done for us is what makes it possible to be reconciled to our Father. It took the Suffering Servant from Isaiah to be Worthy!

Thank You Lord for all you have done for us. For me. And thank You for your Word!

Have a blessed and beautiful Wednesday all!

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