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Bible Gem 116 - The Race to the Tomb (John 20:1-18)

March 14, 2019


Joh 20:1  Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 

Joh 20:2  She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, "They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put Him!" 

Joh 20:3  Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 

Joh 20:4  They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 

Joh 20:5  He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in. 

Joh 20:6  Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 

Joh 20:7  while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 

Joh 20:8  Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—

Joh 20:9  for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 

Joh 20:10  Then they went home. 

Joh 20:11  Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 

Joh 20:12  She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 

Joh 20:13  "Dear woman, why are you crying?" the angels asked her. "Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put Him." 

Joh 20:14  She turned to leave and saw Someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize Him. 

Joh 20:15  "Dear woman, why are you crying?" Jesus asked her. "Who are you looking for?" She thought He was the gardener. "Sir," she said, "if You have taken Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will go and get Him." 

Joh 20:16  "Mary!" Jesus said. She turned to Him and cried out, "Rabboni!" (which is Hebrew for "Teacher"). 

Joh 20:17  "Don't cling to Me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find My brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.'" 

Joh 20:18  Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them His message. 



Peter and John raced to the tomb of Jesus. While John won, he was too modest to boast of being first. Instead he chose the name, the disciple Jesus loved. But nonetheless he won. Why did John not go into the tomb when he got there? Why was Peter the second one there but the first one into the tomb? It seems that John did not dare to go in on his own. The Arabic version reads, "he dared not go in"

Maybe he was fearful of going into such a place alone. It seems John out ran Peter but Peter “out dared” John. Which is it for you? Are you likely to be quick to do things but less sure in carrying out the things that require courage. Or slow to start but develop the courage in the process? 


There was something about the way the grave clothes were lying that made John believe. They were undisturbed it seems. It was not like someone came and unwrapped the grave clothes and took his body. The clothes it seems were lying in a pristine state but his body gone from within. Wow how did that happen? It seems it was unique enough to convince John and he believed. This same John who is keen to convince us to believe!


Mary doesn’t think of the position of the grave clothes and the implications. All she can think is that the body is not there. Where is it? She is so tied up in her anguish that she mistakes Jesus (who clearly had the marks of crucifixion as we will see) for the gardener. Jesus tells her not to touch him for He has not ascended and been glorified. Inference, don’t touch the sacrifice before it has ascended to the Father. Note the message that Jesus gave her to tell the disciples and then note tomorrow what Thomas says in response. 



Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. Regina Brett

An apology is a good way to have the last word. 


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