Bible Verses of the Week

Jesus Rises from the Dead

1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. 6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— 9 for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home. 11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. 15 “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” 16 “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). 17 “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message. (NLT, John 20:1-18)

Jesus' apostles fled in terror when He was arrested. They did not regain their courage until the Holy Spirit came to them on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). In was mainly the women who had been His followers who stayed near Him during His agony, including his mother Mary, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of James and John (Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49-56, John 19:25-27, 19:38-42).

Mary Magdalene and some other women went to the tomb Sunday morning to anoint Jesus' body with spices, according to Jewish custom (Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1). Jesus had been crucified Friday, and there was not enough time to prepare the spices before the Sabbath began at sunset. They stayed home on the Sabbath, according to Jewish law, then went to the tomb at daybreak on Sunday. It was Mary Magdalene who had the honor of being the first to see Jesus alive again.

Jesus' resurrection from the dead is the central event of Christianity and is celebrated on Easter Sunday. Jesus' defeat of the power of death gives us hope that we, too, can overcome death and live in eternal life with God.