John 20 This Sunday’s message
After both disciples have gone into tomb (v8), it says “he believed”. Then in brackets it says they still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. So what did they believe?
OK. So picture the scene.
You are Peter (you can be John if you like, and I’ll be Peter) and in rushes Mary Magdalene (who you always thought was a bit head-in-the-clouds over Jesus) and, well, she SHOUTS at you, “The TOMB, Peter! The Tomb! Aaaaarrrrrgh Yarrrrr (Oh, sorry I’m getting carried away into Pirate there…) Anyway, she is there shouting that the tomb is empty.
So, what, at that moment, do you NOT believe?
That’s right. You do NOT believe that the tomb is empty. You saw what happened, the death, the body, the wrapping, the tomb, the stone rolled in front. There is NO WAY that 2 days later, you are going to be rushing about on the say so of someone who was always a bit overboard about Jesus.
So, why then is she hitting you over the head with her Embalming-bag? (Really HURT, those embalming ointment jars, if swung carelessly)
OK, OK, OK, OK! STOP HITTING ME! I’ll go, but only if John goes too. Could do with some exercise anyway, we’ve been moping about here for 2 days. RACE YOU JOHN!
There’s the tomb, in the distance, looks OK to me, I don’t believe Mary has got it right this – – – – whooooooaaah! THE STONE! ROLLED AWAY! John is going to get there first! He’s stopped at the door! Here I come, first in!
NOW I believe!
OK, so what “believing” has gone on here?
Very simple. They didn’t believe Mary was right about the tomb being empty, then when they saw it, they did.
Nothing more to it than that. Doesn’t require them to be up to speed on Advanced Quantum Resurrection Theory, they’d understand more of that when they had been taught some more by Jesus before the Ascension.
At that time they believed Mary that the tomb was empty. The reason they believed this is because it was. Sensible, really.
They presumably thought that the body had been “taken”. John 20 9 tells us that at that time they had no idea that it could have got up and walked out of there on its own.