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Chapter 20: John 20


The Empty Tomb

Read John 20:1-10.

Before Jesus was crucified He had told His disciples several times that he was going to be put to death.  He let them know also that He would come back to life again. But when Jesus actually died, the disciples did not seem to remember what He had told them about His resurrection.

From the other gospel writers we learn that Mary Magdalene went with some other women to the grave where Jesus had been buried. They were going to put spices on the body, according to the custom.  They saw that the great stone that had been put in front of the opening of the tomb had been taken away.  The tomb was empty!  Mary ran quickly to tell the disciples about it.  While the other women stayed behind at the grave, an angel told them that Jesus was alive again.

Peter and John went to see for themselves.  They found the tomb empty except for the cloths in which Jesus’ body had been wrapped.  Mary though Jesus’ enemies had stolen His body.  But Peter and John knew that thieves would not take the time to unwrap the body and neatly reroll the cloth which had been on Jesus’ head.  What had happened to Jesus?  Thoughtfully they returned to the house where they were staying in Jerusalem.

For You to Do

1.  Why did Mary Magdalene go to the tomb where Jesus was buried?
a)  She wanted to see if Jesus was really dead.
b)  She wanted to put spices on the body.
c)  She wanted to talk to the gardener.

2.  What did she find when she reached the tomb?
a)  The tomb was open and empty.
b)  Joseph and Nicodemus were anointing the body.
c)  The enemies of Jesus had stolen His body.

3.  What did Peter and John see when they went to the grave?
a)  They saw soldiers and asked what had happened.
b)  They saw the gardener and asked where Jesus’ body was.
c)  They saw Jesus’ grave-clothes in the empty tomb.

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Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Read John 20:11-18.

Sometimes people are so sad over the death of a loved one that they can’t seem to believe the Word of God.  Even the message that the angels had given the other women at the tomb, the good news that Jesus was alive, had not convinced the disciples or Mary.  They needed to meet Jesus personally to know that He really was alive.

Jesus comes to us too and lets us know that He is alive.  He turns our tears to joy.  And He sends us, like Mary Magdalene, to share the message with others.  The women as well as the men have this responsibility.  Mary was the first to see the risen Christ and to receive His message.

For You to Do

4.  When Jesus came to Mary in the garden, what did He tell her?
a)  To stop crying.
b)  To go back home.
c)  To go and give the disciples a message.

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Jesus Appears to His Disciples

Read John 20:19-23.

That same day Jesus showed Himself to His disciples.  They had locked themselves in a house, afraid that the enemies of Jesus would attack them next.  When they saw Jesus, they couldn’t believe that He was really alive again.  Jesus showed them His hands and side and let them know that it was He and not a ghost.  How happy they were when they knew that He was alive again!

Jesus said again that He was sending them just as the Father had sent Him.  They would need special help for the work He was giving them, and He told them they would receive the Holy Spirit.  We learn from the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts that the disciples received the Holy Spirit about fifty days later on the Day of Pentecost.  Jesus still gives the Holy Spirit to born-again Christians today who want to be used in His service.

The way the disciples obeyed Jesus’ command would decide whether or not people would be saved.  If they went out and preached the gospel, sinners would hear, repent of their sins, and be forgiven.  But if the believers did not want to go with the gospel, sinners would never know the way of salvation.  Their sins would not be forgiven because they would not know how to pray for forgiveness.  When we are Christians, we should tell others about Jesus.  If we know the resurrected Christ, and if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will surely be able to help others get saved.

For You to Do

5.  What did Jesus tell the disciples?
a)  They should hide.
b)  He was sending them as the Father had sent Him.
c)  They should go home.

6.  What special help did He promise them for the work He was giving them to do?
a)  He would pay them money to preach the gospel.
b)  He would give them joy; they would never have sorrow.
c)  He would give them the Holy Spirit.

7.  In what way would they be able to save people from sin?
a)  By forgiving sins.
b)  By preaching the gospel.
c)  By burning candles.

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Jesus and Thomas

Read John 20:24-29.

Thomas would not believe what the other disciples had seen.  He doubted their experience and said he would have to see for himself.

Many people today think that Christians are deceived.  They have to find out for themselves.  If they are really sincere, they should pray:  “Lord Jesus, if You are alive, come and let me know You.”  He will show Himself to them.  Maybe their eyes won’t see Him, but He will speak to their spirits.  Then like Thomas they can see: “My Lord and my God!”

“Jesus said to him, ‘Do you believe because you see me?  How happy are those who believe without seeing me!’” (John 20:29).

For You to Do

8.  What did Thomas say when he saw Jesus?
a)  “I don’t believe it.”
b)  “You were right.”
c)  “My Lord and my God!”

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The Purpose of this Book

Read John 20:30-31.

Of all the wonderful things that John had seen Jesus do and heard Him say, he wrote in his gospel those that would help us understand and know for sure that Jesus is the Son of God.

“These have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your fait in Him you may have life” (John 20:31).

For You to Do

9.  Memorize John 20:31.

10.  What is the purpose of John’s gospel?
a)  To let us know that Jesus is the Son of God.
b)  To tell everything that Jesus did.

Check Your Answers

1.  b)  She wanted to put spices on the body.

2.  a)  The tomb was open and empty.

3.  c)  They saw Jesus’ grave-clothes in the empty tomb.

4.  c)  To go and give the disciples a message.

5.  b)  He was sending them as the Father had sent Him.

6.  c)   He would give them the Holy Spirit.

7.  b)  By preaching the gospel.

8.  c)  “My Lord and my God!”

10.  a)  To let us know that Jesus is the Son of God.

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