Jesus Appeared After the Resurrection
Book of John Chapter 20:11-31
When all the disciples were hiding in fear of the Jews, Mary was not. Mary was bold in her devotion to the Lord. A lot of things have been said about Mary Magdalene but she was a woman who was devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and was willing to the show the world that she was!
We know by the Gospels that Peter and John had left and all the women but this Mary who had stayed behind trying to find her Savior.
*****Joh 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
Joh 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
Mary had something that many a church lack today:
1) Mary was devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ.
2) Mary had courage, she was not afraid to show the world her love for Christ Jesus.
3) Mary had patience, she knew her Savior had rose from the dead and she waited on Jesus to show Himself.
No doubt Mary understood the first commandment of the Lord.
Mar_12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Above all other commandments we need to understand what Jesus is saying here!
We must understand that those who love Jesus Christ the most are the same ones who receive the greatest benefit from Him!
We must also understand that those who are conscious of their own guilt and who are convinced that without Christ Jesus they would sink into hell, are the same ones who will cling to the Lord Jesus Christ and His commands.
2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Mary also saw something the others had not seen, two Angels.
We must understand that there exists a spiritual world around us all the time and many times we may have had Angels around us and not recognized them.
Heb_13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
If you do not believe in Angels, you will never see one!
These two Angels could see the misery of Mary and they reacted
*****Joh 20:13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
Mary had done two things that none of the others had done.
1) Mary had lingered at the tomb of Jesus taking it all in and what His death meant.
2) Mary was contemplating what an empty tomb would mean to the world.
Why was this Mary the first to see Jesus? It was because she had the greatest faith on that day!
These two Angels were not sitting around wondering at what was happening. Angels are messengers of God and at this time they had a message for Mary Magdalene.
They were also there to show the enormous power of God!
The fact they were dressed in white, signified the purity of God!
Here again we see this word “woman”. This word implies tenderness and courtesy and not disrespect.
The woman may be the weaker vessel in some ways, but a good woman will stand beside her husband such as Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel did.
As far as Mary was concerned these two Angels were nothing compared to her Savior and she spoke to them as if they were only humans also realizing that they may have some answers.
Notice she said “my” Lord and the “I” meant all the other women had gone and she was alone at the tomb.
All these things being true, this Mary was the first to see the resurrected Jesus.
Mar 16:9 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.
Mar 16:10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
Mar 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
*****Joh 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Joh 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
Joh 20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Mary failed to see Jesus even with Him so close, which is the story of the Church today. We will never recognize Jesus until He has that permanent place in our heart!
Mary could not recognize Jesus because she was torn apart by His death.
Doubt will not let us get close to the Lord. All the disciples and family and even Mary had doubt that they would ever see Jesus again.
Doubt will cloud our eyes to the truth. None of the disciples of Jesus were prepared for His resurrection!
They could not believe that He could die and gave no thought to His resurrection!
Mary was still seeking a dead Savior as so many are today. Our God is alive!
While Mary was still hopeless, the Lord Jesus was standing right next to her.
Mary may not have recognized Jesus in His resurrected state, but she knew who He was when He mentioned her name.
When Jesus calls our name, we will definitely know it is He who is calling.
We can never miss out on the Rapture of the Church because we will know it is time to go home.
Many times we Christians grieve when we should be rejoicing!
The Lord is always near us when we are going through tough times in fact, He is with us all the time!
We need to serve the Lord while it is still time.
When the Lord returns there will be millions who will want to serve Him, but it will be too late for them.
Isa 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
We must focus on the work of the Lord and focus our eyes upon Him at all times.
Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
*****Joh 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
No doubt that Mary was so excited that she wanted to cling to Jesus but there was still work, to do. Jesus sent Mary to do one thing while He did something else.
Mary had not yet understood the message of the resurrected Savior.
You will never find a time that Jesus is not busy with His Father’s business.
He will hold us forever when we get to Heaven!
Mary would have held on to Jesus for days had not Jesus told her that there are things that had to be done.
Jesus would never allow any of us to interfere with the plans of His Father!
Mary needed to be obedient the Words of Her Master, now her God, in His glorified form.
What did Paul write?
2Co 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Notice also the Church had begun. The disciples were no more called disciples, but all believers are in the brotherhood and sisterhood of Christ!
*****Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness to our resurrected Savior!
Mary was seeking the same relationship she had before the crucified Christ, but this was impossible.
By the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ requires a knew, relationship. A relationship that could not be established until Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would descend to begin the Church of the Living God and this could not take place until after Jesus ascended back to Heaven.
Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
We still need to study the other Gospels to get the complete story of the things that happened that day.
Another thing we should mention is when Mary the mother of our Lord was given over to the care of the Apostle John, then being the mother of the Lord was not as important as being a believer in her resurrected Son, and the salvation that was offered to be just as it is to “whosoever” will believe in the work of Christ.
Mary the mother of the Lord could not be saved just because she was the Mother, she had to be saved because of her faith. She certainly is not to be worshiped.
It was Mary Magdalene who became the first witness because she had the greatest faith!
*****Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Joh 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
As we see the disciples of the Lord were sealed behind locked doors because they were afraid the show themselves in public.
But no amount of security could stop the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. He just appeared inside the room where these disciples were hiding.
The Lord’s appearance first brought fear, but His words brought peace.
You see we must first have that reverent fear of the Lord before we can be at peace with God! After all our God is the sovereign God of everything we can see and of all things we cannot see!
For those who think the Lord only appeared as a spirit should be able to see that even in His glorified state the Lord did have a material body.
There was no blood left in His body. No blood was required in His glorified body. There was no food required but the Lord Jesus could still eat if He so desired. All this being was because He was Jehovah God.
Luk 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
Luk 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
Luk 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Luk 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Notice the Lord did all He could to assure these unbelievers that He was certainly the resurrected Christ!
These disciples became believers this day, but they would still not understand all things until they received the Holy Spirit.
They could not receive the Holy Spirit until their faith was solid and real and from the heart!
*****Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Joh 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
We should also understand that once Jesus returned to Heaven, it was the job of these Apostles to carry the “Good News”, the “Gospel” to all the world.
Some of them had not first believed even when they saw the Lord.
They had not believed the words of the women who had seen the Lord.
They had not believed Mary Magdalene who was the first witness of our risen Savior.
The disciples had remained in Jerusalem as they were told to do, and they now believed the truth of the Lord.
Even doubting Thomas was now a believer.
These disciples began to go through a great change. They began to understand that all life can come only by the Lord!
The truth of our Lord began to sink in. The Lord Jesus does exactly what He says He will do!
Jesus had said He would give His life so we could be saved, and He did.
Jesus had said He would resurrect from that death to prove He was God, and He did.
Sin and death are now conquered
Jesus Christ is the “Good Shepherd” who gave His life for His sheep!
Jesus Christ did defeat the works of the Devil!
Jesus Christ was lifted up for all the world to see!
Jesus Christ did say that greater love has no man but a man who would lay down His life for His friends!
Jesus Christ did say if I depart, I will send the Comforter to you, who will never leave you!
Jesus Christ did say “my record is true” and it has proven to be true!
Jesus Christ did say, “as the Father has sent Me, I will now send you!
The truth is that until we know the peace of God and reconciled to Him by the works of Jesus Christ, we cannot represent God in this world!
We have a specific mission but many a church has forgotten how specific is the mission that the Lord has given to us, and have taken up many things, many of them being good things but have veered from the mission given to us by the Lord.
Jesus Christ breathed upon this whole group, just as He did to bring the life of Adam into existence symbolizing that the Holy Spirit must dwell in the entire church body for the church to be the “Bride of Christ”.
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
We should understand that verse 23 does not suggest that any man can forgive the sins of another.
If one has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, we can say their sins are forgiven and if not then we can say that their sins are not forgiven.
Joh 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Only a believer can tell another believer that their sins have been forgiven a non-believer cannot know the truth!
The day Jesus first came unto the disciples Thomas was not with them.
*****Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Thomas refused to accept the Lord Jesus Christ had arisen from the grave unless he could see Him with his own eyes.
Today many are just like Thomas who refuse to believe that Jesus the Messiah died and then arose from the grave.
Thomas would not believe these ten men who he had been with for as much as 2 years.
By forsaking the Lord Thomas became frustrated.
Thomas had missed the proof of Jesus because he was not gathered with them.
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It is the same today. We do not know what we miss when we do not gather with the Church.
Another thing we see is, when we speak out against the Lord, we may have to eat our own words. Everything we say is heard by the Lord and this is true today also!
Thomas acted foolishly but the Lord Jesus acted with mercy and grace!
Eight days later would have been the next Lord’s Day, the next Sunday and this time they were all gathered together.
Again Jesus came right in through locked doors and stood in the midst of the 11 disciples.
Again saying “Peace unto you”.
We can only wonder what Thomas thought as Jesus recited back to him his exact words!
The world fails to understand that Jesus is much more than some great prophet.
Jesus is much more than some great teacher.
Jesus is much more than some great man.
Jesus is much more than the founder of Christianity.
Jesus is even more than the greatest man that ever lived!
Those that see Jesus as only these things, see only some man who lived and then died.
The non-believing sinner sees Jesus as only some man, because it brings our Savior down to their level.
If Jesus was truly some man, then He could not be perfect and could not be worthy to sacrifice Himself for anyone sins.
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
This was the feelings of most of the world then and we see that most of the world today has gotten worse!
2Ti_3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Jesus said to Thomas come, I will show you the proof you seek after.
*****Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
When the Lord returns, He will also show the world the proof they seek.
Jesus knew that Thomas had a momentary loss of faith because Jesus can look into the heart and it was necessary for Thomas to be a true believer in order for all the Apostles to do the work that lay ahead of them.
Today Jesus knows not only our heart, but our doubts, our fears, our despair, our hope, our love and every other thing about us.
God sees everything we do every day, and records them in His books, and these are the things the non-believer will be “judged” by on the “Day of the Lord”!
And the believer on the day of the Rapture, at the judgment seat of Christ.
1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God whether we believe it or not!!!!!!!
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If we have no faith, then we are not a Temple of God!
Jesus Christ is truly our risen Savior!
Jesus Christ is certainly the Sovereign majesty of the universe!
Jesus Christ is the One who came to reveal our God to us!
Jesus Christ is the One who we are to worship!
Jesus Christ expects an open and public confession.
Jesus Christ expects the same from us as He did from Thomas even though we have not seen Him in person.
By the Holy Spirit we have all His words of truth!
*****Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
We are to believe even when we do not see the evidence and proof!
We are to believe because of God’s love!
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Through the Scriptures we see the need for us to be Christian because we know the “character” of God!
We are to believe because of the billions of witnesses have gone on before us or how can we believe that our loved ones who knew the Lord are in Heaven.
We are to believe because when the Lord moves in our heart tells us so!
Thomas had chosen his own path until he saw the proof of our Savior and then these things were settled within him, just as they should be in us!
Jesus made sure they all understood the truth!
*****Joh 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Immediately we see that there are many things that these disciples saw that were not written down for us.
So even after He arose Jesus was ministering to the needs of the believers.
The signs that Jesus chose to use brought great results because we can see the evidence of that by the results of the lives of these Apostles afterwards.
His character, His behavior, His preaching, His teaching, His miracles, His control of the environment, and His power proved that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah.
We should know that in the life of our Savior upon this earth He did not have a secret He could not openly show!
What we have in the Book of John are the things selected by the Holy Spirit to keep in our remembrance on our Savior!
We will end our study in the Book of John next week knowing that we could not cover everything in this series of lessons!