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Monday, May 30 2016

John 20: The First Witnesses Of The Messiah's Resurrection

"Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that He had spoken these things unto her"

The first humans to witness that the Resurrection of the Messiah had happened were Mary of Magdela, Mary the mother of James (i.e. Mary the mother of Jesus and His brother James; Matthew 13:55 and see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and Why Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?) and Salome (Mary's sister /the apostle John's mother / Jesus' aunt; see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth). The other witnesses were the Tomb guards who had been posted there to guarantee that no one could fake a resurrection (see The Sign Cover Up).

"16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." (Mark 16:1 KJV)

"28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men." (Matthew 28:1-4 KJV)

Mary of Magdela then told Peter and John - who rushed back to the Tomb with her (see Why Did They Find The Tomb Already Empty At Sunrise?).

Mary of Magdela

"20:1 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. 20:2 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.

20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead." (John 20:1-9 KJV)

The apostles, as well as all of the other believers, including Mary of Magdala, were not yet fully aware that the resurrection was going to happen. As stated in the verse above, "For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead" so they simply returned home from the empty Tomb. All except Mary of Magdala who stood weeping outside.

Two angels then appeared to Mary and asked her why she was crying. Her answer shows that she, like the others, did not yet fully understand that it was going to happen then. She thought that someone had moved the Body i.e. "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him."

Mary then became not only the first to discover the empty Tomb, and not only the first to fully realize that the Messiah had indeed risen from the dead, but the first human to speak with the resurrected Messiah. As such, it was Mary of Magdela who was the first to proclaim the key factor of the Gospel to other humans: "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her."

"20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 20:12 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.

20:13 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.

20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

20:15 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.

20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary.

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

20:17 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.

20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:10-18 KJV)

Hours later, in the evening of the next day (the beginning and end of days were reckoned from sunset), the risen LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) appeared to the disciples who were gathered together out of fear of attack (see Why Was The South A Dangerous Place?).

"20:19 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. 20:20 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.

20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:19-23 KJV)

The famous incident that resulted in Thomas becoming popularly known as "doubting Thomas" was moreover a matter of showing him to be "prove all things Thomas" - a Biblical principle of faith (see Prove All Things, Hold Fast What Is Good)

"20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 20:25 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.

20:26 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. 20:27 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.

20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 20:31 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 20:24-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the significance of the timing of the Messiah's Resurrection to Pentecost - and the correct counting of days to Pentecost?
See The Passover To Pentecost Connection

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This Day In History, May 30

70: As prophesied by the Messiah about 40 years earlier (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?), Roman legions (see Legions Of Men And Angels) under the command of Titus Vespasianus (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots) breached the wall of Jerusalem.

1416: Jerome of Prague was burned as a heretic at the Council of Constance (convened by the Emperor Sigismund, and Antipope John XXIII; see The Struggle For The Papacy).

1434: The Battle of Lipany during the Hussite Wars. Utraquist forces defeated Taborite forces.

1498: Christopher Columbus left Spain with six ships on his third voyage of exploration to the Caribbean Sea (all four of the voyages of Columbus to "America" were actually limited to the islands of the Caribbean; see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1536: King Henry VIII married Jane Seymour, his third wife (who had been "a lady-in-waiting," in more ways than one, to his first two wives), 11 days after his second wife, Anne Boleyn (who Henry defied the Pope and created the Church of England to marry), was beheaded for alleged adultery.

1539: Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto landed in what is today known as Florida (from the Spanish name given to it, La Florida, which means "flowery land") with 600 hundred soldiers in search of gold.

1574: Henry III (Alexandre Edouard de France) was crowned King of France.

1631: La Gazette, the first newspaper of France, began publishing.

1806: Andrew Jackson (who later became U.S. President) killed attorney Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson called Jackson "a poltroon and a coward."

1832: The Rideau Canal, linking the Ottawa River at Ottawa (Canada's capital city) with Lake Ontario at Kingston, was opened to traffic.

1842: John Francis attempted to assassinate Queen Victoria as she was being driven down Constitution Hill in London.

1848: At the end of the U.S.-Mexico War, the U.S. annexed what is today New Mexico and California, along with parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado from Mexico.

1859: The bell known as "Big Ben" rang for the first time in London.

1876: The Ottoman sultan Abd-ul-Aziz was deposed and replaced by his nephew Murat V (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1913: In a treaty signed in London to end the first Balkan War between the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro) and the Ottoman Empire, the Ottoman Empire lost almost all of its European territory.

1942: 1,047 Royal Air Force bombers set off to bomb Cologne in the R.A.F.'s first "thousand plane raid" of the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1962: Adolph Eichmann, 56, Nazi war criminal, was hanged at the Ramla Prison in Israel after being found guilty of 1961 war crimes trial. Israeli agents captured and returned him from Argentina in 1960. His body was incinerated (just as were millions of holocaust victims that Eichmann and the other Nazis were responsible for; see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) and the ashes were dumped at sea.

1972: The Lod Airport Massacre in Tel Aviv by the "Japanese Red Army," on behalf of the "Popular Front For The Liberation of Palestine," killed 24 people and wounded 78.

1989: A 33-foot "Goddess of Democracy" statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

1998: 5,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in northern Afghanistan.


Copyright © Wayne Blank