THURSDAY, JULY 13
SCRIPTURE: John 20
If the Gospel of John were any ordinary biography, it would have ended after chapter 19. If it were any ordinary biography there wouldn’t have been anything else to say after the person of the biography had died.
But this is no ordinary biography. It is not an ordinary biography because its subject is no ordinary man. It is not an ordinary biography because the story of the man continued in a most miraculous way after His death. Indeed, His story continues even today.
It is important to remember that the Christian faith is based upon two facts. One of those is the empty cross. The other is the empty tomb.
The cross must necessarily be empty because the wages of sin is death. Because it is Jesus had to die on the cross to pay the debt for and absorb the wrath of our sin. If Jesus were still alive on the cross, we would most certainly still be in our sin.
The tomb must necessarily be just as empty. If Jesus is still in the tomb, He is still dead. If He is still dead, He has not been resurrected. If He has not been resurrected, He is not who He said He was. If He is not who He said He was, then we have believed a gross lie. And, as the Bible says, we are most miserable people.
But because the cross and the tomb are both empty, we have undeniable proof of the salvific work that Jesus accomplished, that only Jesus could accomplish. What a Savior! O what a Savior.
Of course, throughout the ages there have been many theories put forth to undermine the reality of the resurrection. One of those is the Jewish religious leaders came and took the body. Of course, this is ludicrous. The last thing they would have wanted is anyone believing that Jesus was actually raised from the dead.
Another theory was the disciples came and took the body and hid it. This one falls apart on a couple of levels. One, if they did that, why did they go to the tomb on that Sunday morning to look for the body? Two, with a Roman guard stationed at the tomb, it would have been impossible for the disciples to defeat those soldiers, get into the tomb, and steal the body.
A third theory is that Jesus didn’t actually die but “swooned” on the cross. This theory goes one to say that he somehow revived while in that tomb, was able to get that huge rock rolled away from the tomb’s entrance, and escape with the Roman guard seeing Him. That is just as ludicrous.
All of that leaves us with just one possibility. Jesus is indeed alive. He was raised from the dead. And His resurrection indisputably proves His identity.
I would leave you with this. Notice that as the chapter progresses, Jesus appeared three different times. The first was an appearance to Mary and her tears of grief were turned to tears of uncontainable gladness. The second was an appearance to the disciples locked away in the upper room and their fear was turned to uncommon fearlessness. The third was an appearance to Thomas and his doubt was turned to double assurance.