As painful as reading the last chapter was, it pales in comparison to the WHOOHOO of this chapter! What separates Christianity from all other beliefs? It’s the Empty Tomb! Our Leader is ALIVE! My good friend Greg Stier puts it this way: “You can visit the graves of every founder of every other religion, and unless someone dug them up and sold them on E-Bay, they should still be there. Jesus’ grave was a three-day rental, and it has been empty for nearly 2000 years.”
What a great scene – The ladies head to the tomb, see the stone rolled away and go tell Peter & John. These two disciples run to the tomb. John, apparently in better shape than Peter, gets there first but doesn’t go in until after Peter, but when he does enter, he sees & believes! Then they just leave?!~ But Mary sticks around (just like a mom) and is greeted by two angels AND Jesus (whom she doesn’t recognize – God only knows why). So Mary gets the honor of seeing Him alive first – totally cool!~
Later, Jesus “drops in” on His disciples. (Apparently, resurrected bodies can go through walls as the scared disciples were locked in their house.) The first thing he says is “Peace” – Yeah – they’re freaking out! They are overjoyed to see him and go to tell Thomas who was not there. He is a bit skeptical until he sees the nail driven hands and pierced side of Jesus and says ““My Lord and my God! Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – This is AWESOME stuff!
Then we come to our theme verse that I have referred to over and over again in these Devos: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” – DOUBLE AWESOME!
*As a follower of Christ, my entire faith depends on the resurrection! If Jesus is still dead, then I’m still stuck in my sin and headed to hell! But 1 Corinthians 15 is clear – Jesus DID rise from the dead, was here for 40 days and MANY saw Him alive after He was dead! Believe it! Jesus is ALIVE and all the “other guys” who led belief systems are not.
*The disciples literally saw Jesus alive and believed. But isn’t it cool to know that when you & I, who don’t literally see Jesus, believe, we are called blessed (29).
*Ready for a challenge? Why not give out a “Gospel of John” booklet to your friends this holiday season? If this book is written so that people can believe in Jesus and have eternal life, then what greater gift could we give them?!~ Here is a link: