Main point: The main point of this scripture seems to be the “Oh my gosh! He’s gone!” exclamation from Mary Magdalene and the disciples as they peered into the tomb and found it empty. Only the linen wrappings and the head cloth that had covered Jesus when he was buried remained, left like an empty cocoon as though Jesus had passed right through them. At first, the disciples think that someone took Jesus from the tomb. Then John, described here as ‘the other disciple,’ begins to believe that Jesus had risen.
New light: The way the story of the resurrection unfolds is parallel to the process one might go through in comprehending the resurrection. Upon first hearing of it the story seems impossible – like a deception, our thinking minds tell us this cannot be true. We read these lines more carefully, word-by-word to check the facts. We need to see it for ourselves. We compare it to the other Gospels. The words of Jesus predicting his own death and resurrection are remembered. The image of Lazarus, restored to life is recalled. In light of this, maybe this rising, however more amazing, is not so impossible to believe… especially when we feel the light of Christ alive in us.
Truth: It has been said that Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to the Christian faith. For me this truth is not just about whether Jesus arose from the tomb, but rather Christ’s intentions and purpose become alive within us. Physical death was obviously not the end of Christ’s life. Christ’s life and teachings were dynamic; beyond time and culture, the wisdom and values live on when we become aware of Christ’s presence, the pure consciousness he embodied, breathing in us.
Implications: My guess is that many people have a hard time believing in the empty tomb. From rationality, this story does not match our expectations or experience. This is yet another story that must be brought to into an awareness beyond our thinking minds.
Problems: I read that the stone was not rolled out of the way so Jesus could get out – but rather so others could get in, to see that Jesus’ body was no longer there. Does anyone know any more about this?