John 20

Vs. 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.”  It is early Sunday morning and some women with Mary Magdalene (healed of seven evil spirits) come to the tomb.  Question: What were they doing that morning?  The women came to honor Jesus by finishing anointing the body more completely.  It must have been quite alarming and disturbing to find the stone rolled away to the entrance of the tomb.  She and the women run and tell Peter and John (vs. 2).  We then see Jesus appear at different times to encourage the disciples who were living in fear of the wrath of the Jews.  First, we see Jesus appear to Mary Magdalene (vs. 10-18) to encourage her in her grief and to instruct her to tell the others!  Second, Jesus appears to the disciples (vs. 19-23) and breathes the Holy Spirit on them (vs. 22).  And lastly, we see the love and patience of Jesus with doubting Thomas (vs. 24-31).

Regarding application…Dealing with Doubt.  Vs. 25, “So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”  Notice how Thomas had missed the first meeting when Jesus appeared to the others (vs. 24).  It is not a sin to question our faith.  God gave us minds to be able to have the reason and ability to think about why we believe in Him.  It’s important to be mindful of Jesus’ loving response to Thomas.  Jesus knows we will have times of doubt, but I love how we are reminded we are very blessed for believing all the more (vs. 29).  Question: Are you dealing with doubt?  Don’t despair, some of us just need more time to connect the dots of this life.  I had a student year’s ago ask many numerous questions for two years about Christianity.  He grew up in the church and was quite knowledgeable about the Bible.  One night, he called me with a slew of questions and I was surprised when he asked me to pray with him.  That night over the phone, he accepted the Lord Jesus!