Scripture for Sunday, January 14th, 2018

John 20:11-18

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre...

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

The Empty Tomb

"Historically, the preaching and the rapid growth of the early church are alike unexplainable apart from an empty tomb. Even on the doubtful supposition that all the first Christians were dupes or hallucinating enthusiasts, the Jewish authorities, though they had every incentive to do so, could not come up with the body of the man whose execution they had organized. Theologically, the empty tomb rules out any re-interpretation of 'resurrection' that makes it indistinguishable from mere immortality. The empty tomb establishes that there was continuity between Jesus' pre-death body and his post-resurrection body. However transformed the latter was (cf. 1 Cor. 15:35ff.), its point of continuity with the pre-death Jesus did not lie exclusively at the level of Jesus' personality; it lay also at the level of Jesus' body. Much that is said in the New Testament about the Christian's ultimate hop (e.g. 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15) is incoherent if this point is not absorbed."

-- D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, Pillar NT Commentary, Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, page 638.