The “first day of the week” was a very busy one, according to Jesus’ closest friend, John. According to Jewish custom, that would have been the day following the Sabbath, which was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Here is a paraphrased timeline …
- “Early on the first day of the week,” Mary Magdalene, John (“the disciple whom Jesus loved”), and Simon Peter were the first to look into the tomb and verify that Jesus’ body was not there. (John 20:1-9) John wrote: “He [Peter] 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.” (John 20:6-8, NIV)
- John and Peter went back to their homes, but Mary Magdalene stayed behind, crying. She saw two angels “seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.” Then she turned and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not recognize Him:
“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.’
“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’
“She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means ‘Teacher’).
“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.”‘
“Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!‘”
- “On the evening of the first day of the week,” the disciples were behind locked doors because they feared retaliation from the Jews:
“Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” (John 20:19-20)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Before His death on the cross, Jesus said this: “I am going away and I am coming back to you…. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.” (John 14:28-29)
Do you believe it?