Christ is Risen!

John 20:1-23

A man in Topeka, Kansas decides to write a book about
churches around the country. He starts by flying to San
Francisco and working east from there. He goes to a very
large church and begins taking pictures, etc. He spots a
golden telephone on a wall and is intrigued with a sign which
reads “$10,000.00 a minute. “Seeking out the pastor, he asks
about the phone and the sign. The pastor answers that this
golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven, and if he
pays the price he can talk directly to God. He thanks the
pastor and continues on his way. As he continues to visit
churches in Seattle, Denver, Boise, Milwaukee, Chicago, New
York, and on around the United States, he finds more phones
with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.
Finally, he arrives in the South. Upon entering a church, lo
and behold, he sees the usual golden telephone. But THIS
time the sign reads “Calls 25 cents.” Fascinated, he asks to
talk to the pastor. “Reverend, I have been in cities all across
the country and in each church I found this golden
telephone, and I have been told it is a direct line to Heaven
and that I could talk to God, but in the other churches the
cost was $10,000.00 a minute. Your sign reads 25 cents a
call. Why?” The pastor, smiling benignly, replies, “Son,
you’re in the South now. It’s a local call.”

Today is a celebration.
We are celebrating the fact that God is NOT dead.
He has risen from the dead and He is Lord.

As I typed those words, my mind inserted the tune of He is Lord,
He is Lord.
The chorus says, He is Lord, He is Lord, He is risen from the
dead and He is Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is

Paul argues that the resurrection is the most important part of the
He writes in I Corinthians 15:12-20 that if there is no resurrection
of the dead then Christ has not been raised. He goes on to say
that if Christ wasn’t raised then our preaching is in vain and our
faith is in vain. But the truth is that Christ HAS been raised from
the dead! And He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
So, let’s get on with our celebration.
All four gospel authors have an account of the resurrection.
Today we will see what John writes about that first Easter Sunday.
Our text is John 20:1-23

Let’s take a look at the first 2 verses.
John 20:1-2

Mary Discovers the Empty Tomb

Mary Magdalene was the first one to the empty tomb.
The other gospels mention other women were with Mary
Magdalene, the other Mary (mother of James) and Salome
She got there early in the morning. It was still dark.
Why did she get there so early?

The women had gone to anoint Jesus’ body with spices.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea had brought 75 lbs. of the
myrrh and aloes and started covering His body with them on the
night He died.

Mary saw the stone had been taken away.
Her immediate reaction was that Jesus’ body had been stolen or

At this point she isn’t thinking He has risen.
If you read Mark and Luke’s telling of the event you will read that
the other women went into the tomb and saw the angels sitting
where Jesus’ body had been lying.
Luke describes the angel asking the women why they were
seeking the living among the dead. He is not here. He is risen.
Her second reaction was to run and tell Peter and John that Jesus
had been taken from the tomb.
Mary has gone back to where the other disciples were to tell them
that Jesus isn’t in the grave anymore.

John 20:3-10

Peter and John arrive at the Empty Tomb

Peter and John run to the tomb, John arrives first but doesn’t go
in John stooped to look in and saw the linen cloths lying there.

It was likely that the opening to the tomb would have only been
about 3 ft. high and maybe 2 1⁄2 ft. wide.
When Peter arrives he goes in and sees the cloths lying there and
the face cloth separate from the other linens. The face cloth was
folded up by itself.
It was as if Jesus passed through the garments.
If someone had taken them off they would be lying in a heap, all
tangled up.
When someone is prepared for burial, strips of linen are wrapped
around the body similar to a mummy.
Joseph and Nicodemus would have put the spices in between the
layers of the linen strips.
When John enters the tomb the Bible says he saw and believed.
It wasn’t until this moment that John put two and two together.
Jesus had predicted His death and resurrection three times to His
disciples. Now, John gets it. Jesus is alive!
John’s faith is based on what he has seen. When Jesus appears
to Thomas at the end of this chapter He asks him if he believed
because he saw Jesus. Jesus says Blessed are those who have
not seen and yet have believed.
Peter and John went back to their house.

John 20:11-18

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

It’s interesting that Jesus chose to appear first to Mary.
Jesus had cast 7 demons from her some time before.
The testimony of women was not given high esteem.

It has been quoted that some Rabbis have said, “It is better that the words of the Law be burned than be delivered to a woman.”

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb
Evidently she hadn’t looked in the tomb when she came early that
She noticed two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had
There was likely a shelf or a cutout in the wall where the body
would have been placed.

The angels asked her, Woman, why are you weeping?
This seems like a question with an obvious answer, she is
grieving the loss of a loved one.
But that’s not what she is upset about. She is upset because
Jesus’ body is no longer in the grave. She fears someone has
taken it.

After saying this she turned around and saw Jesus standing
nearby, but didn’t know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weeping?
We don’t know why Mary didn’t recognize Jesus.
It may have been because of her tears.
It may have been the darkness.
Jesus could have disguised Himself from her like He did on the
road to Emaus.
When Jesus speaks her name Mary immediately realizes who is
talking. Her response is to call Him Rabboni! Which means Teacher.

Jesus Sends Mary

Evidently Mary grabbed on to Jesus out of her excitement to see
He tells her not to cling to Him because He hasn’t ascended to
the Father yet.
Also, He has a mission for her.
He sends her to the disciples to tell them she has seen Him.
I love her message to the disciples – I have seen the Lord!!
She also relays everything Jesus told her about ascending to the

John 20:19-23

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

Later that evening the disciples minus Thomas had locked
themselves in a room and Jesus appeared.
He didn’t knock or ring the doorbell. He just appeared in the room
where they were.
And He tells them Peace be with you.
After showing them His hands and side He tells them once more
Peace be with you.
Then He tells them He is sending them out to spread the
message. He tells them as the Father sent me, I am sending you.


Have Faith


Share the Good News