INTRODUCTION (10 minutes)
EXPLANATION (10 minutes)
It is remarkable that all four Gospels (cf. Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1) introduce their respective resurrection accounts by specifying the first day of the week, rather than ‘the third day’ after the crucifixion (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3, 4), despite Jesus’ passion predictions (Mk. 8:31 par.). The reason is disputed, but it may have to do with the desire to present the resurrection of Jesus as the beginning of something new.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”
APPLICATION (10 minutes)
In that message of Mary, there is the very essence of Christianity, for a Christian is essentially one who can say: ‘I have seen the Lord.’ Christianity does not mean knowing about Jesus; it means knowing him. It does not mean arguing about him; it means meeting him. It means the certainty of experience that Jesus is alive.
Jesus speaks a further word of beatitude: blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (29). In recording these further words of Jesus, John clearly has an eye for his readers, whether in the first or twentieth century, who ‘see him no more’, and are assured therefore that their position is not inferior to that of Thomas. Indeed, in Jesus’ mind it is in some respects a better position, since to them is extended this special blessedness: ‘though you have not seen him, you love him’ (1 Pet. 1:8).