We are thinking about the supernatural acts that surrounded the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest manifestation of supernatural power was Christ's resurrection from death. That's our focus today:
Before he became a Christian, Josh Mc Dowell tried to disprove the resurrection of Christ for his college thesis. As he began to study and write, his careful study of the Scriptures, historical evidence, and logical reasoning led him to the opposite conclusion. The evidence he uncovered affected him to his core. He wrote a book called Evidence that Demands a Verdict, which has become one of the most popular Christian books of our time. It indeed illuminates the whole resurrection story. The climax of this story, i.e., Jesus' rising from the dead, gives us all a foretaste of the victory we can expect to experience as Christians. Death had no power over Jesus. It will have no control over us who are believers in Christ.
Having watched where Joseph and Nicodemus put the body, it is likely that the women, having different homes where they were staying, decided to meet at dawn at the tomb to put more spices on the body. The first there that morning was Mary Magdalene. She came alone while it was still dark. John the apostle, wrote:
1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" 3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) (John 20:1-9).
Mary did not go into the tomb, but after seeing the stone rolled away, her immediate thought (and without looking further) was to run to where she knew John and Peter were staying the night. She burst into the house and stated that they had taken the body of the Lord and that she did not know where they had put Him. Perhaps Mary was accusing the religious leadership, thinking they did not want Christ to be buried in a rich man's tomb and given an honorable burial. I'm sure she was angry and very tearful at the loss of Christ's body. John wrote about how the news was received by the disciples that morning. When Mary Magdalene burst into the room telling them the wonderful news, John and Peter reacted by running to the tomb. After Peter went in, John wrote that he also went into the tomb (John 20:8) and saw something that made him believe a supernatural event had taken place. What do you think he saw that made him believe? (v. 8).
He writes about the strips of linen (v. 6) and mentions how the head cloth was folded by itself and separated from the linen (v. 7). From Luke's Gospel (23:53), we know that the body was wrapped in strips of cloth and that spices were placed inside the wrappings as custom dictated. It seems very likely that what John and Peter saw was that the shape of the wrappings and the 120 pounds of sticky spices were completely intact. Jesus' body passed through the strips of linen, thus leaving a cocoon of strips of cloth with the burial cloth around His head laying there on its own. John testifies that he saw and believed. We have a risen Savior who has paid the sin debt for us and is alive forever! Keith Thomas.