The Empty Tomb

The resurrection of Christ will be celebrated across the world this coming Easter Sunday. John’s account of the resurrection is very telling. Mary Magdalene went to the tomb before the sun had come up but saw that the stone had been moved. She ran and told Peter and John, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” (John 20:2 ESV). Peter and John ran to the tomb, only to find it empty. John said that once inside the tomb, he believed.

John remembered that Jesus had been talking about raising from the dead but “they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead” (vs. 9). Seeing the linens made the lightbulb turn on and John immediately believed. He and Peter ran home. This is interesting and important. They didn’t run to tell the other disciples. Instead they ran home to be with their families.

It appears that Mary wasn’t quite as convinced. She stood at the entrance to the tomb weeping. She saw two angels sitting where Jesus’ body once was. When they asked her why she was weeping, she said, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him” (vs. 13). It wasn’t until Jesus revealed himself to her in person that she believed. It was her, not Peter and John, who went an told the other disciples! This is, by far, the most important story for us as Christians. Paul says that if the resurrection didn’t happen then “our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). But we know that the resurrection did happen and therefore we have hope, confidence, and salvation!