Startling Evidence for The Resurrection
Mary Magdalene and several of her friends got out of bed very early on resurrection Sunday morning and hurried to the tomb
where Jesus had been buried. But when she arrived, she discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance to the tomb and that
Jesus' body was missing!
Horrified, she quickly ran to tell the disciples that His body had been removed from the tomb.
As soon as they found out this distressing news, John and Peter ran to the tomb to see what in the world had happened.
John was younger than Peter and so he easily outran him and arrived at the tomb first.
Mary Magdalene followed John and Peter to the tomb. Although the two disciples went home after viewing the tomb, Mary stood
outside the burial cave crying. She walked up to the open entrance to the rock-hewn grave and looked inside. An amazing sight caught her
attention! Two angels were sitting inside the tomb.
"Why are you crying," they inquired.
"They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him."
Soon she would see Jesus alive, although at first she thought He was the gardener. When He called her name, she
recognized Him and worshiped Him with unspeakable joy!
John and Peter missed out on what Mary experienced of the angels and of meeting the risen Christ Himself that morning.
That's because they left the scene of the tomb to return to be with the other disciples while Mary remained behind at the
However, even though they missed out on what she experienced, John believed without even seeing Jesus or the angels
either! This is what he saw that caused him to believe. When John and Peter went to the cave to check things out, John didn't go
inside right away as Peter did. But John did see the linen burial cloths on the slab where Jesus' body had been placed.
Neither John nor Peter knew that Jesus must rise from the dead, even though Jesus had told His disciples that He would die
and then be resurrected after three days.
What convinced John? Was it just the empty tomb itself? No, there was something strangely unusual about the grave
You see, great care had been taken to enbalm the body of the Lord Jesus. It was wrapped in linen cloths according to the Jewish
custom of that day. The Jews used about 100 pounds of spices to apply to the deceased and then wrapped the burial cloth round and round the
entire body. You've probably seen Egyptian mummies or pictures of them. The Jews practiced a similar custom when they enbalmed bodies.
The preparation of Jesus' body for burial was done properly. No shortcuts were taken. His body was placed in the tomb fully
wrapped from head to toe. His head was wrapped separately with a napkin. This preparation for burial was done with respect and love by two
men who came forward to show their love. These men were Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They had not just thrown his body into the cave and
left it, but had spent their own money to give Jesus -- who was considered a common criminal -- an honorable burial. In fact, the grave
where Jesus was buried belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, who had purchased it for his own burial place.
On the morning of the resurrection, Peter and John were startled when they viewed those same grave clothes. For you see, the
linen cloth that that had been glued together with all those spices had collapsed but was still intact. Wonder of wonders -- the body was
Here was supernatural evidence of the resurrection right in the tomb!
Seeing the grave cloth caused John to believe. But Mary had viewed the same grave cloth but had not believed. Why wasn't Mary
convinced by looking at the grave clothes as John had been? Apparently she didn't take the time to study them.
When Peter and John viewed the grave clothes, there seemed to be a distance from the napkin around Jesus's head and the rest of
His torso. However, both the cloth wrapped around his body and the napkin around His head were intact and not unwrapped. You see -- the Lord rose
right through the grave cloth wrappings and passed right through the wall in His resurrection body!
The evidence of the intact and not unwrapped grave clothes reveal that Jesus' body was not stolen by His friends or
enemies either. That's because anyone wanting to take His body would have taken Him as he was -- enbalmed. They certainly wouldn't have
unwrapped the grave cloth, taken the body out and then rewrapped the grave cloth. His enemies wouldn't have wanted to unwrap the burial cloth
either. If someone -- either friend or enemy -- would have tried to steal the body of Jesus, the grave robber would have been in a rush since
time would have been of the essence. So Jesus's body was not stolen by friends or enemies either. The Lord Jesus Christ rose
The grave cloths declared that Christ rose from the dead!
The early believers knew that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead! They were willing to preach to the world and die for their
belief that Jesus had risen again!
What about you? Do you believe in Jesus Christ's resurrection! Do you believe that He is living? If you trust
Him, you will be saved!
Resurrection & life in Christ can be yours too!