Easter Sunday (21 Apr)

Pastor's Summary of John 20:1-18

Early on Sunday morning, before dawn, Mary Magdalene (witness to Jesus' death and burial) comes to the tomb and finds that the "stone" door has been rolled back, so she and those with her ("we", v. 2) tell Peter (v. 4) and "the other disciple" that they suspect that someone has removed the body. The "other disciple" apparently younger, outruns Peter. But the orderliness of the "cloth" and"linen wrappings" shows that the body has neither been stolen nor spiritualized. John, when he sees, comes to trust that God is active; by implication, Peter does not understand yet. They do not yet understand the significance of what is occurring, of how it fits into God's plan, because they have not yet received the Holy Spirit.

Mary, still thinking that the body has been moved, has returned to the cemetery. In her grief, she sees "two angels in white", heavenly messengers. She recognizes Jesus when he calls her by name. But something has changed: they are in a new relationship: "Do not hold on to me". To John the evangelist, Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, exaltation and return to heavenly glory, his ascension, are parts of a single event.