December 16, 2020 – Wednesday
John 20:8 NIV
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
Simon Peter and the other disciple (John) heard from Mary Magdalene the tomb Jesus had been placed in was empty. They both ran to the tomb to see for themselves. John arrived first but did not go inside. When Peter arrived, he went right into the tomb. Once inside (v6-7), He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. It was then that John also went inside and He saw and believed.
The way this is written, it is as if both John and Peter saw what was inside but John saw and believed. What did he believe that Peter did not yet believe? It helps to know the Greek word eiden was interpreted as saw but a fuller definition or translation would be to understand, to perceive the significance of. John understood Jesus’ body was not missing, but that He had risen from the dead as He had said He would. Most of the disciples did not believe Jesus was risen because the tomb was empty. They believed after they saw and met the risen Christ. John, however, saw and believed right away.
I asked myself how John would see and believe when Peter was still in the darkness concerning Jesus as risen? Peter Pett provided an excellent answer to my question. He wrote, The fact that the cloths were still there was evidence against the body having been removed, for why would any people responsible have removed the cloths from the body on removing it? And had they done so, why would they have arranged them so carefully? Even the chief priests and their minions would have reverenced those, and grave robbers would have wanted them for their value. Besides had they stripped them off they would have cast them to one side not laid them out neatly.
It is also possible John was familiar with scripture that prophesied a risen Messsiah. Example: Psalm 16:10-11, because You will not abandon Me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let your faithful one see decay. You make known to Me the path of life; You will fill Me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand. Whether it was one or both, the bottom line was John saw and believed.
David Guzik takes the time to quote Boice on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, Some of the best books on the Resurrection have been written by lawyers, some of whom originally set out to disprove it. I am thinking of men like Frank Morrison, Gilbert West, J.N.D. Anderson, and others. Sir Edward Clark, another English jurist, once wrote: ‘As a lawyer I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the first Easter day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling… As a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as the testimony of men to facts that they were able to substantiate.
We have seen the testimony via the New Testament and various books (especially The Case for Christ, in my opinion one of the best), so we have not seen, yet we are privileged to believe. As a result we annually celebrate Easter, better named Resurrection Day, in recognition of Christ rising on the third day.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Thank you for such overwhelming evidence of Your Son’s Resurrection. It is wonderful to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior knowing He has conquered death and we can look forward to spending eternity in heaven with Him. – In Jesus name, amen.