July 12, 2015
Series: Discovering the Life Changing Gospel
Tell the Story of the Empty Tomb

John 20:1-18 (HCSB)
1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” 3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed. 9 For they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went home again.
11 But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where Jesus’ body had been lying. 13 They said to her, “ Woman, why are you crying?” “Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus. 15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve removed Him, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” —which means “Teacher.” 17 “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God.” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her.


When Mary saw the stone had been removed:

• She drew a conclusion, but didn’t fully investigate.
• She took a look, but she didn’t really see.
• She ran to tell Peter and John.

Lesson to learn: Because people can see what they want to see, we must learn to take it all in before drawing conclusions.


• John glanced in the tomb first, but waited to draw a conclusion.
• Peter entered the tomb and noticed more than John, but didn’t “see it” yet.
• Peter had more sight, but John had more insight.

Lesson learned: The testimony of an empty tomb separates our faith from all other world religions.


• Mary makes it back to the tomb, overwhelmed with sorrow.
• Mary didn’t recognize Jesus until she heard Him call her name.

John 10:3 (HCSB)
3 The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

• God chose a woman to tell the world that Jesus was alive!

Lesson learned: The reality of a risen Savior must be shared.

Things are not always as they seem. The tomb looked like another defeat, a stolen Messiah. But the empty tomb would soon become a symbol of the greatest victory, a risen Savior!