Gospel Of John – Advance Study (Part 21)

John 20

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. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection: None of the disciples were expecting His resurrection. When did she get there?: “…when it was yet dark”; other passages say “as it began to dawn,” “very early in the morning,” and “at the rising of the sun.” Thus, Mary noticed that Jesus was not in the sepulchre just as it started to dawn, but was still dark. Jesus could have left there any time prior to this. What did she find? All four accounts tell us they found an empty tomb. Jesus was gone, even before the stone was rolled away. His burial garments were left there; this tells me that when we are raptured and resurrected we will not be wearing the same clothes…we leave the old ones behind.

We know that the first day of the week is Sunday. The Jewish days run from around 6pm to 6pm (actual sunset to sunset), whereas the Roman empire days run from midnight to midnight. Jesus Christ was out of the tomb before the sun had risen on Sunday, oh, around 6 am. The first day of the week (Sunday) began for them at around 6 pm the night before.

Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

He would spend a full, literal, 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. This may be speaking of exactly 72 hours. The ‘heart of the earth’ speaks of ‘Paradise’ to me more than just being in a ‘cave’ on the surface of the earth. Thus, Jesus (body and soul/spirit) left the grave and went to the heart of the Earth immediately after His burial. He preached to the ‘captive’ saints there in ‘Paradise’.

He was buried sometime between 3pm and sunset on Wednesday and then rose from the tomb between sunset Saturday and sunrise Sunday.

Is there some significance with the details in verse 7?

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 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. 13 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. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 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. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 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. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection: Peter and John didn’t see fit to stay around and weep; what was their plan? Jesus appeared to Mary first… and not to Peter and John.

These angels may have been guarding the body of Jesus prior to the body’s resurrection. Did Mary know that they were angels? I don’t believe so.

Mary was weeping because her Saviour and Master had died; and because she thought someone had taken the body. Who did she think took Him? The Roman soldiers?

Did she have a good reason to be weeping? Jesus didn’t seem to think so. He was risen just as He had said.

His resurrected body had special powers; He had changed His appearance and voice enough that she didn’t recognize Him, but then He spoke to her as her close friend.

The Commentators notes that I viewed don’t seem to understand why she could not touch Him; but I believe the answer lies in His response: “for I am not yet ascended to my Father”. He was the Sacrificial Spotless Lamb of God and needed to present Himself before the Judge of all; it was involving the judicial completion of the redemption, the payment.

Mary was used by God to help the disciples (the 11, and the others) believe that He had risen from the dead. God first used a woman to get the men of the church to believe Jesus was alive.

19 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. 20 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. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection: That same day of His resurrection, at evening, on the Lord’s Day, the disciples were having a ‘meeting’; they kept the doors shut because they were afraid of the Jews coming for them. This could be used to support Sunday evening services.

They, the church, were definitely not peaceful; they were very fearful of the Jews. Their Master, and protector, was gone. They were all out of sorts.

His resurrected, glorified body had the wounds still showing in it; to his hands and his side; and I believe will display these for eternity future!

The Doctrine of Missions: One must have correct authority for being ‘sent’. Jesus Christ uses His churches to be the sending authorities for ‘Missionaries’.

The Doctrine of the Holy Ghost: Who were the ‘them’ that Jesus ‘breathed’ upon here to ‘receive the Holy Ghost’? It was at least the 10 apostles (minus Judas Iscariot, for he wasn’t saved, and minus Thomas, for he was stated as not being present (v.24). But, it seems much more likely that just about the whole ‘church’ was assembled together; It was the Lord’s Day; they were assembled together and were fearful; the term ‘disciples’ can surely be referring to the church members there. This all happened a week or two prior to Pentecost… thus, the baptism with the Holy Ghost was not to give the Holy Ghost to initially indwell the saints, but rather to indwell and empower them corporately, as a church body. I believe that here in John 20 the church members (disciples) received the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives; thus, they all had the Holy Spirit prior to Acts 2… Pentecost. It was ‘transitory’ until after Pentecost; then, it is my belief, that every one ‘received’ the Holy Ghost right at the moment of ‘conversion’.

The Doctrine of Sin: (23) One thing is certain: this does not mean that the Roman Catholic Church’s priests have the power to remit sins. The Apostles were commissioned by God with the Gospel (via their church). If they ‘won a soul’ then sins were remitted (forgiven, they got saved); if someone refused to believe then their sins were retained (they were still ‘lost in their sins’).

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 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.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection: Jesus Christ, in His resurrected body, was able to just pass through the walls and all of a sudden just stood in the midst of them. These wounds continue to this day… and forever. Thomas, doubting Thomas, doubted no longer… I don’t believe that he even performed these verifications.

Oh how blessed we believers today are! None of us have seen the risen Christ, but yet we believe that He has indeed risen from the grave, just as the Scriptures have said. There is a special blessing for being alive at the time of Christ, no doubt; but, there may even be a more special blessing by believing and yet not ever seeing!