We started with the Song 10,000 reasons by Matt Redman.  This was led by our Music Ministry Leader Josh LaBelle.  One of our members explained that 10,000 reasons is an allusion to oriental culture.  If something takes a long time, like the bonsai tree.  Another member pointed out that the phrase "My strength is failing" comes from a Zen Proverb.  

After the song, we read and discussed John 20:1-23.

John 20:1-23New International Version (NIV)

The Empty Tomb

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”(which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Some of the points discussed were:

  • The Sepulcher is a tomb.  
  • Mary Magdalene was the women that Jesus had cast 7 Devils from.  She is rumored to have been a prostitute, but there is no direct Biblical support for that.  She was one of Jesus' closest followers.
  • She went to the tomb to finish preparing the body for final burial.  
  • The stone was removed.  It was about 4,000-5,000 pounds.  Also, the tomb was guarded by a legion of soldiers who would face possible death penalty if they let anything happen to the body, yet Jesus was resurrected and the stone was rolled away.  
  • The burial cloths were left behind.  
  • Mary saw angels and afterwards Jesus Christ.  First she thought He was the gardener and that he had taken Jesus' body somewhere.  Then he said her name and revealed to her who he was. 
  • John is referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved because he had a special close relationship with him.  John was also the youngest of the disciples and the only one that did not die a martyrs death.  He was entrusted with the care of Jesus' mother. 
  • He told her to go tell the disciples, while he returned to his Father. 
  • That evening Jesus appeared to the disciples and showed the scars on his hands and in his side.  
  • Jesus breathed on the disciples to give them the Holy Spirit. He breathed into Adam's mouth to give him the breath of life.  
  • The giving of the Holy Spirit fulfills a prophecy found in John 14:26

John 14:26New International Version (NIV)

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.