John 20:1-18- The Resurrection

Explanation- I am afraid that, much like the account of the crucifixion, there is no perfect way to capture the magnificence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This moment, captured in human history, stands as the centerfold and highlight of all time and space. That Jesus died and by His own volition was raised from the dead is the undeniable proof that has offered hope to every believer since this time. Jesus Christ, the righteous one of God, has conquered death and the grave and now lives forever more to justify those who come to Him by faith in His completed work.

A key aspect to not in reference to this account is the disciple’s slowness of heart to believe that what Christ had afore mentioned was indeed true. He had plainly told them that He was to die at the hands of wicked men and would be raised again on the third day. Yet despite their lack of faith and slowness of heart, the time was coming where they would be clothed with power from on high. Christ has been raised and very soon He would be returning to the Father. With that would be the coming of the Holy Spirit who would guide them (and us) into all truth.

It is also interesting that although Christ showed Himself to Mary at the tomb, she did not immediately recognize Him. This is also the case with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. There has been much speculation on exactly why this was so, but in all honesty we do not know. It is probable to say that upon Christ’s resurrection from the dead the mortal body in which He dwelt had now put on immortality and with that came certain physical alterations, but I believe it best to not be too dogmatic here. It very well could have been that Mary and the disciples on the road to Emmaus were so certain that Christ was truly dead that, even if He were to show up looking exactly the same as He did before, they would not have recognized Him due to the certainty of their assumptions. I believe that the most probable of explanations lie in that Christ did not immediately desire to be recognized by these individuals and so He simply was not. It is interesting that it is at the moment when Christ calls out Mary’s name she immediately recognizes Him. He had previously said that His sheep know His voice. When Christ calls Mary by name she knows that it is the voice of her Shepherd, for she would respond to no other voice. She was Christ’s and He was hers.

Application- As Charles Spurgeon once said, ‘The resurrection is a fact better attested than any event recorded in any history, whether ancient or modern.’[1] With this being such a verifiable reality, there should be no doubt in our minds that, as Christ has risen from the dead so we too shall rise. Death is not a final destination for the believer. We have a steadfast hope in our Lord Jesus Christ that He will not allow His beloved to see corruption. We look forward to our enjoining with Him at the end of this life in all perfection and entirety. Certainly Christ has been raised as the firstfruits of all those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor. 15:20), but He was not the last to rise. It is because of His glorious resurrection that we too can trust confidently in our own bodily resurrection. Not because of our own ability to accomplish such task, but because of the mighty work that Christ has done!

[1] Spurgeon, Charles H. (2015). “The Complete Works of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 15: Sermons 848 to 907”, p.249, Delmarva Publications, Inc.