John 20:8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
John believed Jesus had risen from the dead, by the sheer force of the evidence, not because he thought he was supposed to. What an incredible event this must have been. There, in the darkness of that tomb, John “saw the light.”
Lessons from John 19 and 20:1-8
1. First of all, faith in Christ is never meant to be a private matter. The regular team—the eleven disciples—have been called off the field, and a number of substitutions have been made (to speak in sports terms). Among these are Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene. Who would have expected such folks to play a key role in the burial and resurrection of our Lord?
Again, I think their faith is growing. Nicodemus came at night; now he comes at the dawn. When Arimathea went to Pilate, he came out in a big way.
2. it takes courage to come out for Christ I have just a few observations about these secret disciples; they do something very dangerous, very costly and for no personal gain. They risk a great deal. The text says, "For fear of the Jews they kept their faith in secret." They risk a great deal. How often we are like the eleven disciples of our Lord, so frightened and lacking in faith that we do nothing, or like the women in our text who are preoccupied with fears about how we can move a stone. How foolish these fears seem to us, and yet is it not our own fears that keep us from attempting what our Lord has commanded us to do?
3. God provides. God provided. Neither the stone, the seal, nor the soldiers kept Jesus in the tomb—or the disciples out. God always provides for the fulfillment of His promises. He does so by the instruments of His choosing. He does so in His time. The human instruments were those we would not have chosen, people we would never even have considered.
4. God is at Work all the Time
God was at work in the hearts of these two men—Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—and at just the right time, He used them for His glory, and their good.
5. The resurrection is a foundational truth for the Christian. Saving faith is resurrection faith.
6. God always uses just the right instrument to accomplish His purposes in the right way at the right time.
7. It was the turning point for men and women like Joseph, and Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene, not to mention Peter and John and the other disciples.
8. Devotion and love for Christ is increased when we know our origins. Go back to the ditch from which God pulled you out of." I hope you wonder about this as much as I do, but I wonder, "Why in the world did He save me?"
9. We don't get we are to be living for Him. Your life and mine should be a thank you back to Christ for what He did for us on Calvary and the message of the resurrection is the core of our faith.
10. When it comes to the most important issue of your eternal soul, what will you pin your hopes on? And for man to pin his hopes on humanism or agnosticism or some “ism” of “ology” is a fascinating thing. That something as profound as a resurrection of life from death would keep us from knowing Christ.
John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." 3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
On this first day of the week Mary goes to the tomb and seeing the stone has been moved decides that they have stolen the body of Jesus. She goes and gets Peter and John and they come running. When they get there John glances in, Peter looks a little harder and is puzzled because he sees the grave wrappings lying there in their proper place. This is a day that seems to be the worst ever in that not only has Jesus died, but they have stolen His body too. It is actually the best day to ever have happened, because this is the day that Jesus rose from the grave, proved He was God, and showed that He had done everything necessary to pay for the sins of the whole world. This is the Good News, the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day according to the Scriptures (1Corinthians 15:3-4).
John 19:38 ¶ After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
Here we see the secret disciples come forward when all the others have forsaken Jesus and are hiding. These guys come at the perfect time so the last of the prophecies can be fulfilled Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death. These two men give Jesus a burial fit for a King using 100 pounds of very expensive spices, because He is King Jesus and one day will come back to rule and reign. They are running out of time to get Jesus in the grave before the Sabbath starts and also so the 3 days and 3 nights can be fulfilled, so they use the closest available tomb which happens to be Joseph of Arimathea’s. It is done, it is finished, all that is left is for Jesus to come out of the grave and show that He is truly God as if all the miracles He has done is not enough. Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."