John 20

He who gave His life as a ransom resumed His life again by the mighty power of God, proving the acceptability of His sacrifice as a satisfaction for sin, with the Father, and offering to all who should trust in Him, the peace of God that passes all understanding.

1 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.

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19 ¶ Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

24 ¶ But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 ¶ And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20:1-10 – ​The Witness of the Empty Tomb

   In considering John’s account of the Resurrection, we should remember that it is largely supplementary to the other narratives. This Gospel having been written long after those were in circulation, the selection of incidents which are recorded is made for spiritual purposes. John’s object was to show various instances of faith in the risen Christ, each one being typical and having its own lessons to teach.
   Easter morning! What dismay there is in Mary’s voice and what consternation in her face! What a mistake also she made, for who can take our Lord away from hearts where He is enshrined! The Greek word used to describe the disposition of the clothes is very remarkable. It conveys the idea that they had fallen together, as if that which they had covered had been suddenly withdrawn.
   How much those two disciples missed! Had they only waited, they might have seen the Lord. Do not hurry with wanton haste from the mysteries of our Lord’s grave; but learn that on the one hand He was declared to be God’s Son, Romans 1:4, and on the other we are taught the victory of faith even over death, John 11:26. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 20:11-18 – ​The Joy of the Resurrection

   Mary wept with hopeless sorrow, with no thought that Jesus was risen, and anxious only to secure the body of her dear Master and Friend. It is because we know so little of the inner meaning of events which are happening around us, under the hand of God, that we weep so bitterly. What we suppose we have lost is really close at hand, and what we count disastrous is part of the process designed to irradiate our lives for evermore.
   In her grief Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener, but who shall say that she was greatly mistaken? for surely Jesus is the Keeper of the Church, which may fitly be compared to a garden. At that moment He had come into it to lift up one drooping flower. She recognized the intonation of His voice, for speech is ever a telltale. In the resurrection we shall hear again tones that we have not heard since childhood. In John 20:17women receive the highest authority for acting as evangelists. Let them tell out the glad news of a love that is stronger than death, and which passes through death undiminished and unchanged. Our beloved are waiting for us in the garden of Paradise. We shall hear and see them and be with them forever. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 20:16—Jesus saith unto her, Mary.

​   Many had called her by that name. She had been wont to hear it many times a day from many lips; but only One had spoken it with that intonation. In his mouth its familiar syllables had a sweetness and tenderness which lingered in her heart; as the fragrance of the Roumanian rosevalley clings for many a day to the clothes of those who have entered it.
   Her eyes had deceived her. Startled by the sudden glad expression which had passed over the features of the angels, who sat sentry in the sepulchre, she had turned herself back to see the source from which the radiance had gleamed; but even with that hint to help her, she had failed to recognize her Lord. But her ear could not mistake; the voice carried immediate recognition.
   We sigh sometimes for “the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still”; but we shall hear those voices again. Our mortal body is to be fashioned according to the body of Christ’s resurrection; and evidently in that body there were the old familiar tones. May we not, therefore, certainly infer that the voices which welcome us on the other side will be those that hushed us with their lullabies when we were babes; asked us for our love and assured us of theirs when we attained maturity; whispered their dying messages in our ears, and sent us their Godspeed as we went down into the river.
   The Master knows our names, and calls his own followers by them. There is one response, which He waits to elicit—one which alone will satisfy Him; one in which the love and devotion of a life may be summed up. Like Mary, let us turn and say to Him: Rabboni! that is, Master! —Our Daily Homily

John 20:19-25 – ​The Risen Christ Brings Peace

   Evidently our Lord was clothed in the spiritual body of which the Apostle speaks, not subject to the laws governing physical life. Twice He uttered the salutation, Peace be unto you. The first time He accompanied His words with the indication of His wounds: He showed unto them his hands and his side. This was the peace of forgiveness, falling on conscience-stricken hearts as the dew distils on the parched herbage. “Look at the wounds of Jesus!” cried Staupitz to Luther, and there is, indeed, no other sign which can give rest to the penitent. This is the peace of the evening hour, when we come back from the soil and fret of the world, and need to have our feet washed and our heart quieted.
   The second time the message of peace was accompanied by an injunction to go forth into the world, as He was sent from the Father, on the great errand of world evangelization. Then He breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, which shortly after was to descend as a rushing, mighty wind. There is no way of remitting sin but by preaching the gospel of reconciliation, with the Holy Spirit accompanying our message. This is the peace of the morning, when we go forth to our post of duty or danger. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 20:26-31 – ​Overcoming Doubt

   How great the anguish of Thomas during that week, as he tossed between hope and fear, and saw on other faces the light which he might not share! At length Jesus came, and suited Himself to the needs of the perplexed disciple, complying with the conditions that his poor faith had laid down. Jesus was set on winning this one poor starving soul to Himself and blessedness.
   It is unlikely that Thomas availed himself of Jesus’ invitation to reach forth his hand, that he might touch as well as see. Christ’s evident knowledge of what Thomas had said, and his willingness to meet it, were sufficient. But, as our Lord said, there is a greater blessedness than that which became his. When there is no star on the bosom of night, and no friendly voice in the solitude, to believe then is to get very near the heart of Him who on the cross clung to the Father in the midnight darkness. —Through the Bible Day by Day