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. 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!"
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. 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. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed (John 20:1-8 TNIV).
I am so glad God put a Sunday in each week, because the first day of the week is that routine reminder that we especially notice today: Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday after Passover ... and nothing has been the same since!
This simple recounting of part of the resurrection story is precious for me because it talks about the events of that first Sunday that forever changed all Sundays that have followed. Two simple things stand out for me in these few verses. I hope they bless you this Resurrection Sunday.
First, Jesus is dead and buried. In every way common to mortals, hope is lost ... the future is destroyed ... and the past three years of relationship with someone Mary has called "Jesus" is wasted. Yet Mary, in a tenacious love filled with unconscious anticipation, refers to Jesus as "Lord." She clearly does not know that he is raised from the dead — she thinks someone has stolen his body. "Lord!" Her name will be Jesus' identity because of what has happened. Mary had faith that was just awaiting a dawn. That dawn burst through the power of darkness on that Sunday morning!
Second, the mysterious "disciple whom Jesus loved" races to the tomb to see if the Lord's body is stolen. While he outran Peter to the tomb, his thoughtfulness gave him pause while Peter rushed inside. As the beloved disciple saw the abandoned death shroud that once held Jesus' lifeless body, he slowly entered the now unneeded tomb, saw the truth, and believed. He had faith that was just awaiting a dawn. That dawn burst upon him as he saw the remnants of death's grip left behind by the risen Lord.
The gospel of God ... regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 1:1-4).