The Empty Tomb

In John 20: 1 Mary Magdalene discovers that the stone had been removed from the empty tomb. I often wonder what I would do if I was Mary Magdalene and found that Jesus was no longer in the place where he was buried? Would I panic and think of the worst-case scenario or keep calm and search for a possible explanation?

My initial reaction would be surveying the tomb for any possible clues of what may have occurred. “Mary Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple. Simon Peter went into the tomb and saw linen wrappings lying there and a cloth that had been on Jesus’ head rolled up in a place by itself. John 20 :6-7.”  Immediately, in this situation is how and why could this have happened? There was a large rock rolled against the tomb entrance to prevent people from coming in or out and also guards posted outside the tomb emphasised in Matthew’s resurrection account. So, what would be my reaction to Jesus’ body removed?

I think once I got over the bewilderment of seeing cloth wrappings strewn around the tomb, I would hope my logical rational processes would kick in. Thus, putting myself in Mary Magdalene’s, Simon Peter’s and the other disciple’s position and having no prior knowledge of the Gospel accounts I would have to deduce from Jesus’ words and actions some reference to this moment. For example, Jesus 16:21, “From that time on, (Peter’s reference to Jesus being the Messiah), Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders, chief priests and scribes, be killed and on the third day rise.” Therefore, the evidence was always in Jesus’ teachings.

The proof is in when the other disciple entered the tomb and believed. John 20:9. Therefore, the  onus on all of us is not to see the clothing scattered in the tomb but to truly believe that Jesus has risen.