By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
At this time of year, many Christians around the world celebrate one of the most important truths of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. His resurrection is so important that, if it had not taken place, Christianity would have died right then and there. Everything about the Christian faith is connected to the reality of the Lord’s resurrection. It is a theme that runs throughout the New Testament. It cannot be avoided , if we carefully and open-mindedly read the New Testament. It can be denied, but only by denying the undeniable evidence that it happened.
As stated above, the Lord’s resurrection is a theme that runs throughout the New Testament. It is recounted to, for example, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What follows is the history of his resurrection as found in John’s Gospel. It is quoted from a new translation/version of the Bible called the “Modern English Version.” This is an updating of the King James Version, and is based on the same original-language text as that venerable version. The MEV’s Committee On Bible Translation followed what is known as the principle of formal equivalence, about which that Committee says, “the meaning of which is to be as literal as proper English syntax and grammar will allow.” (For those not familiar with the Bible, it is divided into chapters and verses. In this case, the “20” means chapter 20. And the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 5, and so forth are the verse numbers in chapter 20.)
John 20 Modern English Version (MEV)
The Resurrection of Jesus
20 Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him.”
3 So Peter came out with the other disciple and they went toward the tomb. 4 They both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down and looking in, he saw the linen cloths lying. Yet he did not enter. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went inside the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the cloth that was around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but wrapped in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came first to the tomb, went in also. He saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
The Appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene
11 But Mary stood outside at the tomb weeping. As she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb, 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.
13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have put Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.
The Appearance of Jesus to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples were then glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” 22 When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of anyone, they are retained.”
Jesus and Thomas
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called The Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail prints in His hands, and put my finger in the nail prints, and put my hand in His side, I will not believe.”
26 After eight days His disciples were again inside with the doors shut, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand here and place it in My side. Do not be faithless, but believing.”
28 Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.”
The Purpose of the Book
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.