Angels Announce the Resurrection to Certain Women. Peter and John Enter The
Empty Tomb.

(Joseph's Garden. Sunday, Very Early.)

^A Matt. XXVIII.1-8; ^B Mark XVI.1-8; ^C Luke XXIV.1-8, 12; ^D John XX.1-10.

^c 1 But ^a 1 Now late on the sabbath day, ^b 1 And when the sabbath was past, ^c on the first day of the week, { ^a as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,} ^c at early dawn, ^d while it was yet dark, cometh { ^a came} ^d Mary Magdalene early ^a and the other Mary ^b the mother of James, and Salome, ^c unto the tomb, bringing { ^b brought} ^c the spices which they had prepared. [Luke xxiii.56.] ^a to see the sepulchre. ^b that they might come and anoint him. ^a 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it.3 His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 and for fear of him the watchers [the Roman soldiers on guard] did quake, and became as dead men. [The angel sat upon the stone that the Roman guards might make no attempt to reclose the tomb.] ^b 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen.3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? ^c 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. ^b 4 and looking up, they see { ^d [Mary Magdalene] seeth} ^b that the stone is rolled back: { ^d taken away from the tomb.} for it was exceeding great. ^c 3 And they ^b entering into the tomb, { ^c entered in,} and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. [John mentions Mary Magdalene alone, though she came with the rest of the women. As she was the one who reported to John and Peter, he describes her actions, and makes no mention of the others.] ^d 2 She runneth therefore, 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 tomb, and we know not where they have laid him. [Though Mary came with the other women, she departed at once, while the others tarried, as the sequel shows. The narrative proceeds to tell what happened to the other women after Mary had departed.] ^c 4 And it came to pass, while they were perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel: ^b they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. ^c 5 and as they were affrighted and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, { ^b he ^a the angel} answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; ^c Be not amazed: ^a for I know that ye seek Jesus, ^b the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: ^c Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but { ^a for} he is risen, even as he said. ^c remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.8 And they remembered his words [For the words referred to, see Matt. xvii.22, 23. The angel continues his speech as follows], ^a Come, ^b behold, the place where they laid him! ^a see the place where the Lord lay. [Here is a double wonder, that men should put the Son of God in a grave, and that he should consent to be put there.] ^b 7 But { ^a 7 And} go quickly, and tell his disciples, ^b and Peter, ^a He is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: ^b as he said unto you. ^a lo, I have told you. [The women were told to hasten, for the disciples were not to endure their sorrow a moment longer than was needful. Peter was mentioned by name that he might know that he was not cast off for his denial. The Lord appeared to some chosen few in Judæa, but the large body of his disciples were to see him in Galilee; see [10]Section CXLI. Jesus had appointed a place of meeting; but we are not told where it was nor when he appointed it.] 8 And they departed quickly ^b 8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; ^a with fear and great joy [fear, because of the heavenly messengers; joy, because of their message], and ran to bring his disciples word. ^b for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. [They told none whom they met, but reserved the message for the apostles.] ^c 12 But Peter ^d therefore ^c arose, ^d went forth, and the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. ^c and ran unto the tomb [John shows that he and Peter started for the tomb as soon as they received the message of Mary Magdalene given above, but Luke is less exact, blending her message with that of the other women, as will be seen in the latter part of [11]Section CXXXV.]; ^d 4 And they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter [it is generally accepted that John was younger, and hence more active than Peter] , and came first to the tomb; 5 and stooping and looking in, he seeth the linen cloths lying; yet entered he not in.6 Simon Peter therefore also cometh, following him, and entered into the tomb; ^c and stooping and looking in, he seeth ^d and he beholdeth the linen cloths lying; ^c by themselves; ^d 7 and the napkin, that was upon his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. ^c and he departed to his home, wondering at that which was come to pass. [The impulsive, thoroughgoing nature of Peter was not content with a mere look; he entered the tomb, neither reverence nor awe keeping him out. The sight which he saw puzzled him. Why should those who removed the body pause to unswathe it? why should they unswathe it at all? why should they fold the napkin and place it aside so carefully? But Peter left the tomb with these questions unsolved.] ^d 8 Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.10 So the disciples went away again unto their own home. [Assured that the grave was now empty, and emboldened by the example of Peter, John now enteredit, and as he looked upon its evidences of quietude and order, the truth flashed upon his mind that Jesus himself had removed the bandages, and had himself departed from the tomb, as the firstborn from the dead. Here, then, was the first belief and the first believer in the resurrection; it is important to note that the Scripture did not suggest the fact, but the fact illumined the Scripture. Ps. xvi.10 and Isa. liii.10 , and many other passages set forth the resurrection of our Lord; his own words, too, had plainly foretold it, yet among the disciples it was so much beyond all expectation that the prophecies had no meaning until made clear by the event itself. Yet these are the men whom the Jews accused of inventing the story of a resurrection!]

cxxxiii the crucifixion 4
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