Sunday School Lesson Sunday April 16, 2017 God’s Love Triumphant
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Times: A.D. 30; A.D. 63 Places: Jerusalem, from Babylon (possibly Rome)
Golden Text: “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed (John 20:8).
Lesson Outline: I. Discovery – John 20:1-5, II. Verification – John 20:6-10, III. Assurance 1st Peter 1:3-5, 8-9
John 20:1 – The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. In this scripture, John omitted several details such as the earthquake, the angel rolling the stone away and sitting on it. The two angels speaking to the women or the fact that there were other women besides Mary who went to the sepulcher. Mary Magdalene is the woman out of whom Jesus cast out seven devils and Mary the mother of James and Joses who was the wife of Cleophas (In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher – Matthew 28:1). ( And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices that might come and anoint him Mark 16:1). (Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them – Luke 24:1).
Each writer gives a different account of what happened, but they all come to the conclusion that these two Mary’s came to the tomb and it was early. Could it have been the reason Mary Magdalene was mentioned only was because of her encounter with the Lord through Him delivering her from seven demons, could it also have been she was the first who saw Jesus after He has risen (Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils – Mark 16:9)? Mary Magdalene had a past of immorality, a sinful woman but after her conversion, she gained not only a position of prominence in the Gospel but also a position of leadership among the women who followed Jesus. Mary Magdalene gives the reader an example of how having an encounter with Jesus will change your life.
No way an individual can have an encounter with Jesus and continue to live a life of sin. Before Jesus showed Himself to His male disciples He showed himself first to a woman, a woman with a past sinful history. Jesus not only made the difference with Mary Magdalene but also with the Samaritan woman removing the discrimination between male and female. Although where they had buried Jesus there was a huge stone that neither of the two women would have been able to roll it away they came to the sepulcher to anoint the body of Jesus.They were going in faith that they would be able to have access and when they came to the sepulcher the stone had been rolled away. Mary Magdalene was the last one at the Cross and the first one at the grave. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea had already bound the body of Jesus with strips of linen and a mixture of myrrh and aloes before Mary and the other women had come to anoint His body. The spices they had prepared were put on the body in order to cover the odor of decay. Since Jesus had been buried the evening before the Sabbath, the women had waited until after the Sabbath to avoid breaking any of its regulations.
John 20:2 – Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciples, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him. After looking into the tomb and not seeing the body of Jesus but being informed by an angel to go and tell the other disciples they immediately left running to tell the other disciples the good news. They could have been running with panic because they didn’t know what had happened to Jesus or it could have been with much joy they couldn’t get to them fast enough to tell them the good news. When Mary found the grave empty, some would have thought her first thought would have been “He has risen”, could she now see the grave empty, and yet have not thought of the resurrection enter into her mind after being informed by Jesus Himself that He was going to be crucified but on the third day He would rise from the grave.
John 20:3 – Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. Neither Peter or John was ready for Jesus’ resurrection because nobody had comprehended His statement about rising three days after being put to death. When they heard the news, they raced to the tomb site, they could have been running to the site with faith remembering what the Lord had told them or they could have been running with unbelief to see whether or not what Mary had said was true.
John 20:4 – So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. John outran Peter to the grave site. Peter could have been left behind because he was the one that denied Jesus and was in sorrow and shame. John came to the sepulcher first but he didn’t go in.
John 20:5 – And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Although John arrived first he was reluctant to go inside the tomb for some reason. John went no further than Mary Magdalene, he had the curiosity to look into the sepulcher and saw it was empty, he saw the linen clothes lying where Jesus was laid but he didn’t go in the tomb. It could have been because he didn’t want to be ritually defiled by entering in or could have just been in amazement and didn’t know what to do.
Lesson Outline II. Verification
John 20:6 – Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie. Peter went in first and made a more exact discovery than John had done. John could outrun Peter, but Peter could out-dare John. Jesus had left His grave-clothes behind him, He laid them aside because He rose to die no more. Lazarus came out with his grave-clothes on because he was going to use them again. The grave-clothes were found in very good order which serves as an evidence that His body was not stolen. Peter’s boldness encouraged John; now he took heart and ventured in and he saw and believed. “Seeth” indicates when Peter stepped into the tomb, he was discerning spectator, taking in all in.
John 20:7 – And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Just like John, Peter also saw the linen cloths, he too noticed the napkin (handkerchief) that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head lying off by itself neatly folded. The handkerchief around Jesus’ had not been thrown aside as it might have been done by a thief. Thieves wouldn’t have taken the time to unwrap a body or carefully fold it. No one else was placed inside the tomb with Jesus, so it had to have been Him who fold and left the linen and handkerchief indicating He has risen.
John 20:8 – Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. After Peter went inside the tomb John went in and saw what Peter had seen and he believed. Peter saw and wondered, but John saw and believed. This may have been the reason Jesus left the handkerchief and linen so once they saw it they would believe. It has often been pointed out that the tomb was not opened to let Jesus out; it was opened to enable those outside to get in and see the evidence of His resurrection.
John 20:9 – For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Although Jesus hard forewarned His disciples of His crucifixion and Him raising on the third day. The disciples believed because of what they saw in the tomb not because of what they knew from the Old Testament describing the Savior’s resurrection. Jesus had prophesied His death and resurrection in the disciple’s presence, but the disciples had not understood what He was talking about. The disciples then went home and later that evening when they assembled again their faith was then confirmed by an appearance of Jesus in the midst of them.
Lesson Outline – III. Assurance 1st Peter 1:3-5,8-9
1st Peter 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chris, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. A thanksgiving to God. The duty performed which is blessing God. The object of this blessing described by his relation to Jesus Christ. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” here are three names of one person, denoting His three-fold office. He is Lord, a universal king. Jesus, a priest or Saviour, Christ a prophet. The reason of this of blessing God is because of His abundant mercy, He hath begotten us again, and this deserves our thanksgiving to God. Our salvation did not come through who we are or anything we have accomplished, so, Peter is praising Go here for all that we have received from Him. Our assurance of this hope is the resurrection of Jesus which is the final proof of His deity. Our salvation is grounded in God’s mercy, His act of compassion toward us despite our condition of sinfulness. God has given believers a new spiritual life that enables us to live in an entirely different dimension that the one of our physical birth allowed, this is Him begotten us again.
1St Peter 1:4 – To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. The Greek word translated “inheritance” here suggest both a present and a future reality. God has already determined what we will one day experience in its totality. Reserved indicating God has set aside in heaven a wonderful inheritance that is waiting for us even now. Because of the living hope we have in Jesus, we now have an inheritance that does not fade away, and we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed. This causes the believer to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We have a living and sustaining hope of a glorious future regardless of the difficulties that are so much a part of our life. That future includes our own bodily resurrection and a glorious inheritance as joint heir with Christ.
1st Peter 1:5 – Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. God keeps His people safe from external attack and safe within the protective boundaries of His kingdom. “Revealed”, we do not now see or understand fully the salvation that God has prepared for us, but one day we will. The future outcome of our present faith will be the salvation of our souls, the redemption of our bodies, and the enjoyment of our inheritance.
1st Peter 1:8 – Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Only a few believers had the privilege of walking and talking with Jesus when He was here on earth. How we see Christ does not depend on outward proof, rather, we see Him with eyes of faith, believing that He exists, that He loves us, and that our salvation is complete in Him.
1st Peter 1:9 – Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. There is a final, positive outcome for trusting God through all the difficulties of life. Our salvation which here has an eschatological sense salvation of your souls. This phrase refers to our glorification in heaven and perhaps the reward we will receive for following Jesus. Peter indicates that the Old Testament prophets knew of the gracious salvation we would one day receive, and as a result, studied it carefully and intensively.