John 20:1-18;1Cor.15:1-28 Celebrating Easter Significane

         CELEBRATING EASTER’S SIGNIFICANCE
    John 20:1-18; 1Corinthians 15:1-28       March 23 2008

    John 20:1-18 focuses on three of the first witnesses to
Christ’s resurrection and their reactions to it: Mary
Magdalene , Peter, and John . Mary Magdalene was not the only
woman who went to the tomb early Easter morning . She
was accompanied by Mary the mother of James, Salome,
Joanna, and other woman (Matt.28:1;Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10).
John chose to focus on Mary Magdalene exclusively , but his
Gospel does not clash with the other Gospels on this point.
    In 1 Corinthians 25, Paul discussed the central the
central importance of the resurrection for Christians . Paul
referred to the death of Jesus for our sins, His burial , and
His resurrection as the gospel he proclaimed to them (1 Cor.
15:1). The apostle used the Greek word "victory" three times
here to describe the results of Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor.
15:54-55,57). Christ arose from the dead just as He said He
would; we can trust in Him confidently, knowing He will
save us from our sins.

    1. Marvel at the Empty Tomb (John 20:1-9)

John 20:1   Early on the first day of the week, while it was
still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that
the stone had been removed from the entrance. 20:2   So
she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the
one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of
the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 20:3  
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 20:4  
Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and
reached the tomb first. 20:5   He bent over and looked in at
the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 20:6   Then
Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into
the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 20:7   as
well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head.
The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
20:8   Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb
first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 20:9   (They
still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to
rise from the dead.)

    While it was still dark. Mark says it was “just after
sunrise” (Mark 16:2). Perhaps the women came in groups,
with Mary Magdalene coming very early. Or John may refer
to the time of leaving home, Mark to that of arrival at the
tomb. Mary Magdalene. (John19:25; Mark 16:9). To Simon
Peter. Despite his denials, Peter was still the leading
figure among the disciples. The one Jesus loved. John (John
13:23). We. Indicates that there were others with Mary
(Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10), though John does not
identify them. Have put Him. Mary had no thought of
resurrection. Folded up. An orderly arrangement, not in
disarray, as would have resulted from a grave robbery. He
saw and believed. (John 20:29). John did not say what he
believed, but it must have been that Jesus was resurrected.
Scripture. First they came to know of the resurrection
through what they saw in the tomb; only later did they see
it in Scripture. It is obvious they did not make up a story
of resurrection to fit a preconceived understanding of
Scriptural prophecy. Had to rise. It was in Scripture and
thus the will of God.

    2. Listen to Witnesses (John 20:15-18)

John 20:15   “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who
is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener,
she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where
you have put him, and I will get him.” 20:16   Jesus said to
her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in
Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 20:17   Jesus
said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to
the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am
returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your
God.’ ” 20:18   Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with
the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that
he had said these things to her.

    The woman did not realize that it was Jesus . A number
of times the risen Jesus was not recognized (John 21:4;
Matt. 28:17; Luke 24:16,37). He may have looked different,
or he may intentionally have prevented recognition.
    Mary. (John10:3-4). Rabboni. A strengthened form of
Rabbi, and in the NT found elsewhere only in (Mark 10:51)
(in the Greek). Although the word means “(my) teacher,”
there are few if any examples of its use in ancient Judaism
as a form of address other than in calling on God in prayer.
However, John’s explanation casts doubt on any thought that
Mary intended to address Jesus as God here.
    For I have not yet returned. The meaning appears to be
that the ascension was still some time off. Mary would have
opportunity to see Jesus again, so she need not cling to him.
Alternatively, Jesus may be reminding Mary that after his
crucifixion she cannot have him with her except through the
Holy Spirit (John 16:5-16). My brothers. Probably the
disciples (John 20:18; Matt. 12:50). The members of his
family did not believe in him (John 7:5), though they became
disciples not long after this (Acts 1:14). My father and your
father. God is Father both of Christ and of believers, but in
different senses (John1:12,14,18,34).

    3. Recognize the Gospel’s Significance (1 Cor. 15:3-6)

1Cor. 15:3   For what I received I passed on to you as of first
importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the
Scriptures, 15:4   that he was buried, that he was raised on
the third day according to the Scriptures, 15:5   and that he
appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 15:6   After that,
he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the
same time, most of whom are still living, though some have
fallen asleep.

    (1 Cor.15:3-5) Two lines of evidence for the death and
resurrection of Christ are given here: (1) the testimony of
the OT ( Ps 16:8-11; Isa 53:5-6,11) and (2 )the testimony
of eyewitnesses (Acts 1:21-22). Six resurrection appearances
are listed here. The Gospels give more. (1 Cor.15:3) What I
received I passed on to you as of first importance. Here Paul
links himself with early Christian tradition. He was not its
originator, nor did he receive it directly from the Lord. His
source was other Christians. The verbs he uses are technical
terms for receiving and transmitting tradition (1Cor.11:23).
What follows is the heart of the gospel: that Christ died for
our sins (not for his own sins;  Heb 7:27), that he was buried
(confirmation that he had really died) and that he was raised
from the dead.
    On the third day (Matt 12:40). The Jews counted parts of
days as whole days. Thus the three days would include part
of Friday afternoon, all of Saturday, and Sunday morning. A
similar way of reckoning time is seen in (John 20:26) (lit.
“after eight days,” NIV “a week later”); two Sundays are
implied, one at each end of the expression.
     Peter. . . The twelve. The appearance to Peter is the one
mentioned in (Luke 24:34), which occurred on Easter Sunday.
The appearance to the Twelve seems to have taken place on
Sunday evening ( Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-23). “The
Twelve” seems to have been used to refer to the group of
original apostles, even though Judas was no longer with
them (notice, however, that the 11 disciples, the 11
apostles or “the Eleven” are referred to in (Matt. 28:16;
Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9,33; Acts 1:26).
    More than five hundred. . .Saw Him at the same time . The
appearance to this large group may be mentioned to help
bolster the faith of those Corinthians who evidently had some
doubts about the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor.15:12). This
appearance may be the one in Galilee recorded in (Matt. 28:10,
16-20), where the Eleven and possibly more met the risen Lord.
Some have fallen asleep. A common expression at that time for
physical death (Acts 7:60).

    4. Celebrate New Life in Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-22)

1Cor. 15:20   But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21   For
since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead
comes also through a man. 15:22   For as in Adam all die, so
in Christ all will be made alive.
 
    But Christ has indeed been raised. Paul’s categorical
conclusion based on his evidence set forth in (1 Cor 15:3-8).
Firstfruits. The first sheaf of the harvest given to the Lord
(Lev 23:10-11,17,20) as a token that all the harvest belonged
to the Lord and would be dedicated to him through dedicated
lives. So Christ, who has been raised, is the guarantee of the
resurrection of all of God’s redeemed people (1Th 4:13-18).
    Death came through a man. Through Adam (Gen. 3:17-19).
The Resurrection of the dead come also through a man . Through
Christ, the second Adam, “the last Adam” (1 Cor 15:45;
Rom. 5:12-21).
    In Adam all die. All who are “in Adam ”, his descendants
—suffer death. In Christ all will be made alive . All who are
“in Christ ”, who are related to him by faith —will be made
alive at the resurrection ( John 5:25; 1Th 4:16-17; Rev 20:6).

        Summary:

            The Adam- Christ motif continues in these verse.
The statement in Adam all die does not mean all people die
because of Adam’s sin Rather , all people experience sin and
its result just as Adam did because, like him , they sin.
            The promise in Christ all will be made alive
should not be made in to a statement of universal salvation.
Not every sinner will be spared death and granted new life;
only those sinners who put their faith in Christ. They all will
be made alive in Christ. Thus the word all refers to all
believers.