John 20:1-10 The Empty Tomb Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. The resurrection of Christ is the lynchpin of our faith as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, " I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died." (NLT) Paul continues later in the chapter 1 Corinthians 15:14-22, "And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. The world would have us believe that death has the final say. We see that everyone who is born eventually dies and even expect the universe itself to wither away into a 'heat death' of unlimited stasis. Against the gods of this world the Creator insists that death is a passing shadow while life is the permanent reality. When the women came to the tomb they expected a body. They had no expectation of resurrection. When there was no body there their conclusion was that it had been moved. When Peter and John heard about it they ran to see for themselves. What a terrible blow it would be to lose Jesus and then have even his body taken away. But what if he rose from the dead? The tomb was a strange scene. If someone had moved the body why did they leave the wrappings? Where were the soldiers? What has happened here? Whatever their questions were they went unanswered in that moment. John says he believed. What did he believe? Why did he follow that up with, we didn't yet understand the scriptures about Jesus rising from the dead. (Psalm 16:10) Sometimes life and death are just mystifying. The hows and whys of it all don't give us enough to do more than, like the disciples, shrug our shoulders and go home. The disciples would soon have the mystery revealed to them. Likewise, we will have the darkness dispelled and the light of Christ reveal all to us. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

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