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.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
 

20:1 cometh Mary Magdalene. The verb actually is “went.” She apparently met some of the other women who also had gone to the tomb (Mark 16:1). When they saw the stone rolled away, Mary Magdalene ran back to tell John and Peter (who, by this time, had gone back to be with John and Jesus’ mother).

20:2 out of the sepulchre. As the Magdalene woman rushed back to the disciples, the other women had encountered the angels, who also told them to go back to tell the other disciples (Matthew 28:5-8). In the meantime, Mary reached Peter and John with the disturbing news that either the Jews or Romans had moved the body.

20:6 seeth. When Peter “seeth” the clothes, the sense of the Greek is “looked quizzically.”

20:7 wrapped together. This word is used elsewhere only in Matthew 27:59 and Luke 23:53, all in connection only with the “in-wrapping” of Jesus body in the graveclothes. The scene was of the graveclothes (and the napkin by itself) still wrapped together just as they had been, but collapsed inward. The resurrected body of Jesus had simply passed through the wrappings—as He later did through the doors (John 20:19,26)—leaving them still intact on the shelf where the body had been placed.

20:8 he saw, and believed. When John “saw”—unlike the word used referring to Peter—the Greek indicates “looked with understanding.” He quickly understood that no other explanation than resurrection could account for the empty, yet intact, graveclothes. Therefore, he believed! This evidence of the empty tomb, which first convinced the beloved disciple, has later convinced multitudes of others, for it can never be explained in any other way. If Jesus had only swooned, or if the Romans or Jews had taken the body, it would soon have become known, and the spread of Christianity halted forthwith. But the body was gone, and would soon ascend to heaven, to remain forever inaccessible to Jesus’ enemies who would have liked desperately to prove that Jesus was dead.

20:9 he must rise again. Despite the Old Testament prophecies (e.g., Psalm 16:9-10) and Christ’s many explicit promises (e.g., Matthew 16:21), the disciples never really believed He would rise until they saw the empty tomb and the risen Lord.

20:10 their own home. John probably wanted to hurry home to tell Mary, the mother of Jesus, the marvelous news, for she was staying with him (John 19:27).


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