Dr. Andrew C S Koh
Easter, John 20:4-10
Heavenly Father, we come before You to learn, listen, worship, and fellowship with You. Speak to us and Your servants will listen, hear, and obey, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early on Easter Sunday when it was still dark. She saw the tombstone rolled away and falsely concluded that tomb raiders had stolen the Lord’s body. She bumped into Peter and John, and told them what she saw. The duo raced to the tomb as fast as they could.
4 They both ran together. The other disciple outran Peter, and came to the tomb first. 5 Stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying, yet he didn’t enter in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and entered into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying, 7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 So then the other disciple who came first to the tomb also entered in, and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they didn’t know the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.John 20:4-10
John outran Peter and reached the tomb first but did not go in. He saw the empty tomb from the outside. The Greek word for saw here is “blepo” which means to take a glance. John did not see anything significant.
Peter arrived at the scene, entered the tomb, and saw the linen cloths lying on the floor, undisturbed in two piles, one for the head and one for the rest of the body., from the neck to the toes. The Greek word for saw here is “theoreo”, which means to see like a detective investigating a crime scene. Peter saw the empty linen clothes but could not connect the dots.
After this, John entered the tomb and saw what Peter had just seen. The Greek word for saw here is “aido”, which means to see with insight and understanding. John saw the “cocoon” and correctly concluded that Jesus had resurrected from the dead. He understood that Christ’s resurrection body body had passed out from the linen cloths like a butterfly exiting a cocoon. John was the first disciple to believe in the Resurrection of Christ.
On Good Friday, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus’ body with linen strips from the head to the toes. The linen strips were interlaced with myrrh and aloes. Over time, when the spices dried up, the linen strips hardened and solidified into a cocoon-like structure.
On Easter, three people came out from Easter with different conclusions. Mary Magdalene saw the opened tomb and falsely concluded that tomb raiders came to steal the body. Peter saw the linen cloths but could not connect the dots. John saw the linen cloths and believed that Christ had Risen. What about you? What did you ‘see’ from the Easter narrative? Did you ‘see’ the Risen Christ and believed?
Today, you can visit the garden tomb in Jerusalem as a pilgrim and relive the experience of Peter and John when you walk into the empty tomb. The Bible is about real people, real places, real history, and real geography. It is not a figment of someone’s imagination. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Thank You that You have conquered sin and death on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.