John 20:1-18—Jesus’s Resurrection

Chapter 58 *

John 20:1-18—Jesus’s Resurrection

Jesus made a very important statement about his resurrection when he tried to tell his disciples about the world wide breadth of his kingdom. However, their lack of knowledge about the earth’s geography made it impossible for them to understand. This is what he said:

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:14-18).

Here, as is so often the case in the scriptures, the key to the meaning of the passage in the verbs and the conjunctions. The verbs in verses 17 and 18 are about his power. They teach us that Jesus is not going to be killed but he is going to die of his own accord.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:14-18).

The verbs in those sentences tell what is going to happen, but it is the conjunctions that give us the underpinnings of why Jesus, unlike ourselves, had the power to remain alive or to die. It is the conjunction in verse 17 that teaches us why it was necessary that Jesus would not be killed by others, but rather that he would will his spirit to leave his body. The simple word “that”adds an important facet to our concept of the Atonement.

In verse 18, Jesus says, “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”In verse 17, he gives the reason for his choosing to exercise that power. He said “I lay down my life, that [in order that] I might take it again.”He chose to die so he could choose to be resurrected. When we die our spirit no longer has the power to govern our body. However, because Jesus exercised his power to leave his body, he still had control of it so he could return at will. Therefore, his explanation, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.”

As we watch the events at the tomb after Jesus’s resurrection, but before he returned to his Father, we see again the propriety of the order of things. He first appeared to a special woman. Then, again it was Peter and John who were the first apostles able to testify of Jesus’s resurrection.

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 (John 20:1-18).

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