Chapter 20 - John In The Now
1. Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and was surprised to find that the stone that had been lodged into the entrance had somehow been rolled away.
2. As soon as she assessed the situation, she immediately ran to find Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and when she got to them she blurted out, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put Him!”
3. When Peter and the other disciple heard this, they just took off running to the tomb to see for themselves.
4. The two disciples initially were running together, but then the other disciple picked up speed and outran Peter, arriving at the tomb first.
5. And when he got there, he stooped down to look inside and saw the linen grave clothes lying there, but he didn’t enter the tomb.
6. But when Peter got there, he just went right in and also saw the little pile of linen material lying there.
7. Next to it was the piece of cloth that had been used to cover Jesus’ face, neatly rolled up and in a place by itself.
8. The disciple who got there first then entered the tomb and, when he saw the whole scenario, he believed fully in the resurrection.
9. For as yet the disciples had not made the connection that the Scriptures had said that He would rise from the dead.
10. But even though he believed, the disciple didn’t know what to do about it, so he and Peter both just went back to their homes.
11. Mary Magdalene, on the other hand, remained there and just stood outside the tomb weeping. And at a certain point, while she was still in tears, she stooped down and looked into the interior.
12. Inside she saw two men who appeared to be angels, all dressed in white, sitting where Jesus’ body had been. One was sitting at the head, the other at the foot.
13. They turned and looked right at her and asked, “Why are you crying?” She answered, “Because they have taken away my Lord’s body, and I don’t know where they have put Him.”
14. As soon as Mary said this, she became aware that someone was standing right behind her. So she quickly turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t realize that it was Him.
15. Jesus asked her “Why are you crying, Ma’am? Who are you looking for?” She just assumed He was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have removed His body, please tell me, so that I can go and get it.”
16. Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!” Suddenly, the sound of His voice penetrated her stupor and, realizing who He was, she cried out, “Teacher!”
17. When she reached out to embrace Him, He told her, “Don’t try to hold on to Me, Mary. I am making the transition into the Father’s dimension, and you can’t keep Me here. I no longer belong in the physical body that you are used to seeing and holding, so don’t touch Me. But tell My disciples that I am going to our Father and to our God.”
18. So Mary Magdalene went immediately to the disciples and declared to them that she had seen the Lord. She also told them what He had said to her.
19. But the disciples were afraid of the religious leaders, so, on the evening of that same day, they assembled themselves and barricaded the doors of their meeting room. But as soon as they built the barricade, Jesus just appeared in the middle of the room and said to them, “Peace be with all of you!”
20. When He had said this, He showed them all His hands and His side and, when they got over the shock of seeing Him, they became exuberant and began rejoicing.
21. Once again He said to them, “Peace be to all of you; just as the Father sent Me into this dimension, now I am sending you to all the people of the world.”
22. Then He took a deep breath and began to breathe and blow on them, and into them, in the same way that God had breathed into Adam in the creation. As He continued to blow on them, He began to say, “Receive…receive…receive the Holy Spirit.
23. “Receive the power to forgive sins; if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven. You now have the same power and authority on the earth that I have had, not just to heal diseases, but to forgive sins, as well.”
24. Now Thomas (called the Twin) was one of the twelve, but he was not with them in the room that night.
25. So when the disciples recounted to him the story of Jesus’ amazing appearance and the transfer of anointing that took place there with them all, he was more than a little skeptical. When they told him that they had seen the Lord, Thomas said, “Unless I see the holes in His hands made from the spikes and put my finger through them and put my hand into the opening in His side made by the spear, I will not believe.”
26. So, a full week later the disciples were all together again, this time with Thomas, with the doors barricaded just like before. And in the same way, Jesus appeared in the middle of the room and said, “Peace be to all of you!”
27. Then He looked at Thomas, held up His hands in front of Him and said, “Go ahead, Thomas, put your finger through the holes in My hands and reach into the open place in My side. I don’t want you to be an unbeliever, so if this is what it takes to get you to believe, then please explore all of My wounds; see for yourself and believe!”
28. But Thomas didn’t have to touch Him. He knew immediately that it was Him and simply said, “My Lord and my God.”
29. Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me with your natural eyes, you have believed. But there is a special blessing for those who have the faith, the vision, the imagination, to believe in what they can’t see.”
30. Jesus actually did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, miracles that are not even recorded in this book.
31. But the ones that are recorded here are written that you, the reader, may believe that Jesus was and is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you may live your life to the fullest in His name.
Happy Resurrection Day, bloggers!