Monday, July 1, 2024

Is Seeing Believing?

“Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.”
– John 20:8

It was a Sunday morning unlike any other in history.

When Mary Magdalene told Peter and John that Jesus’ grave was empty, they wasted no time strapping on their sandals and bolting down the street toward the garden tomb.

Once John got there, he bent over and peeked inside the small entrance to the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying on the shelf where Jesus’ body had been placed. Then Peter caught up and rushed right into the tomb to examine the bandages and burial clothing that had covered Jesus. At last, in John 20:8, “the other disciple [John] … also went inside. He saw and believed.” John appears to have been the first follower of Jesus to see the evidence of His resurrection and believe that He was and is alive.

The rest, as they say, is history. Here are three important insights we can glean from these important moments:

Insight #1: “The empty cross and the empty tomb are God’s ‘receipts’ telling us that the debt has been paid” (Warren Wiersbe). Why is the empty cross one of the greatest symbols of Christianity? Because Jesus isn’t hanging there anymore! He’s completed the work of redemption. The debt of sin is paid … once and for all. The empty tomb proves that Jesus not only conquered sin; He also conquered death.

Insight #2: “The whole point of the description is that the grave clothes did not look as if they had been put off or taken off; they were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them” (William Barclay). Have you ever heard of a burglar breaking into a house, stealing some jewelry … then washing the dishes before he leaves? No! Then why would anyone in their right mind think that a grave robber would take the time to make Jesus’ grave clothes nice and tidy in the tomb before disappearing into the dark with His body? There’s no doubt: Jesus’ resurrected body passed right through the grave clothes.

Insight #3: “John entered the tomb, at which point he perceived with understanding and believed” (Chuck Swindoll). In verse 5, John looked through the open door of the tomb and was able to “see” the strips of linen. In verse 6, after Peter went into the tomb, he was able to “see” the grave clothes in the sense of investigating them. But then in verse 8, after John entered the tomb, he was able to “see” with the eyes of understanding … and “believe” that Jesus was and IS alive!

So, let me ask you: How is your eyesight today? It’s not enough to just see Jesus. You must believe in Jesus. As we read in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church, meeting Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley.

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