John 20:1-31, True Christians follow Jesus Christ to Resurrection.

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India

Email: Pastor True Gospel

Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and was resurrected before Morning of Sunday. The great victorious resurrection was kept as secret somber celebration. Mary Magdalene was the only one saw Jesus before he met the Father. The Holy Ghost and great authority was given to the true church. True Christianity is not a religion, bit it is the following of Jesus Christ.


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Victorious Resurrection was kept Secret

We saw from the previous lesson that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and was buried just before Wednesday night fall. He was in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. According to that he was resurrected on Saturday night. Mary Magdalene and a few others found that the body of Jesus was not in the sepulcher, but nobody knew that he was resurrected. Even after they were told that he was resurrected, there was no organized effort for a victorious celebration. It may be because, Jesus Christ did not come in the open declaring his victory over death, but secretly showing himself to only a selected few, and it was in the lowest key possible. There was no room for celebration. But, the Jewish hierarchy, from the chief priest to all Pharisees, have killed Jesus and looking forward to destroy his followers. So, the most wonderful victory of Jesus Christ could not be celebrated, and was spent in fear. And there was confusion among the disciple in finding out the victorious resurrection. Everybody was in the low key. Let us look at the scriptures.

Information of Resurrection was Fluid

"John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre." Mary Magdalene has arrived at the sepulcher when it was yet dark. It was technically Saturday late at night, and so, Jesus was resurrected at Saturday night. Mary did not know that he was resurrected, but just saw the stone was rolled away from the sepulcher, and his body was not there. "2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." The disciple whom Jesus loved was John. Mary came running and told Peter and John. "3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself." Peter and John came running to see the sepulcher. John outran Peter, but Peter entered the sepulcher. I don't see any doctrinal significance in the incidents. The linen was laying down, and the head napkin was kept in a place. Nothing else was special about it. People speculate many things, but we must study the word of God. "8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed." Then John went in and saw the linen and napkin. It says that he believed but did not say what did he believe. "9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home." Even though Jesus told them about all things, it did not enter their mind and so, at this point they did not know that he was resurrected. Their mind was blank and they went home.

Only Great Person was Mary Magdalene

"11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre," Mary Magdalene came behind the men, was weeping, sorrow filled her heart, and she was looking into the sepulcher again, staring into an empty space. "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. 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. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 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." She came to the sepulcher first, went to Peter and John and told them probably thinking that they will do something, but the men went home without knowing what to do. But Mary stood there, weeping and doing what all she can, asking people for the body of Jesus, to take the body and to embalm the body. "16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master." Now, she is the first one to know that he is resurrected, and it is a lot better than embalming a body. "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." Even before Jesus see the Father, he saw Mary Magdalene. Probably he thought she deserve it. "18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." She came to the disciples back again and broke the good news of the resurrection of the Lord, and what an honor it was to declare the great news.

Holy Ghost and authority to True Church

"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. 20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." It was the evening of Sunday that Jesus Christ met his disciples. In our worldly mind, it must have been the greatest celebration, with all its glamour. But it appears to be a somber celebration. Why? "21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." He came to his disciples not to celebrate, but to recruit them to the mission as his Father has sent him, that is to die for the world, and thereby become the Sons of God to inherit the kingdom of God. He offers peace in the middle of death. But our preachers never tell this and they say that since Jesus died, we do not have to die. "22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." Jesus gave the Holy Ghost to his disciples, and it was for the ministry with power to do miracles, to forgive sins, as well as to reject forgiveness.

Believed God without Seeing are truly blessed

"24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 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." Thomas did not believe, and it was his mindset. Even today, he is known as doubting Thomas. "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. 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. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." It is not a great thing that Jesus knew what Thomas has told, since he is fully in the Spirit realm. Jesus rebuked him but did not reject him. Thomas made the statement "My Lord and my God." At this context, it is neither a revelation, nor a declaration, but just a staetment. "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." This saying is vitally important to be accepted among believers. We do not have to see to believe God.

Is true Christianity a Religion or a Following?

We celebrate Easter for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some people say that the word Easter is not in the Bible. But it is in Acts 12:4. Some people do not want to celebrate Christmas, or any festival. They have their own reasons for that. However, consider the following. Resurrection was the victory of Jesus Christ over death; and it is promised to all true believers. "1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" This will be our victory also. But, why was such a victory kept in secret and was treated like a somber confused event. A few here, a few there and only a selected few were informed. It was newsworthy to be proclaimed to the whole world. Pilate was trying to free Jesus and to favor him. Jesus could have visited Pilate and let Caesar know, and proclaim it to the whole world. Jesus Christ did not do it. why? Because, this must be a following, it must not be a religion. Individuals must believe and join the body of believers. But religion will make families of Christians, so that whoever in the family are Christians; society of Christians so that whoever in the society are Christians, so also villages, towns, and then countries. The Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, on 330 AD, was converted to Christianity, and ordered all people to be converted to Christianity, and this was the birth of Christian religion. I am not against Emperor Constantine. The point is, if Jesus had visited Pilate, the chief priest, and such people to declared victory, this could have been a religion to begin with. Jesus told Thomas, "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." This is not a religion, but a following. Are you in Christian religion or in Christian following? If you are in the religion, please be converted to follow Jesus Christ. The religion is not of God, but it belongs to the world. Jesus was not of the world. Follow Jesus Christ. You will belong to him.

Jesus Christ means, a Man became Son of God

"30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 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." We must believe that Jesus is Christ. What does this mean? Jesus was the man, Christ is the Son of God, who is in the Spirit in heaven. The name Jesus Christ means, the earthly man has become the Son of God in heaven. If you believe that a man has become Son of God, you will believe that you can also become a Son of God in heaven. If you believe this in your heart, you will not follow a religion to satisfy the world, but you will follow Jesus Christ. Will you follow him?

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