The empty tomb

Published April 20, 2019, 10:00 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

Jn 20:1-9 [Evening Mass: Lk 24:13-35]

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone re­moved from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.

For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

Understanding the Scripture

Faith in the resurrection of Jesus is not automatic.

Journeying with him and listening to him from Galilee to Jerusalem is not enough.

Like most Jews, the disciples know their scriptures.

They have also attended the services in their synagogues and listened to the teachings of the rabbis since their childhood days.

But Mary of Magdala cannot figure out that Jesus has risen from the dead.

She is perplexed to find the body of Jesus missing from the tomb.

Someone has stolen it: she has no other explanation.

Peter sees the burial cloths rolled up in the empty tomb but cannot figure out what has happened.

His companion John, the dis­ciple whom Jesus loved, fares much better: he sees the whole setup and beliefs.

John comments that Mary Magdalene and Peter fail to appreciate the open tomb as pointing to Jesus’ resurrection because they do “not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

On the other hand, the disciple whom Jesus loved immediately believes because he has understood the Scriptures read during the Sabbath ser­vices and in the teachings of Jesus.

The First Reading de­scribes Peter, now a believer, preaching and witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus.

He declares that God has raised Jesus from the dead. And all who believe in the Risen Lord will receive forgiveness for their sins.

In the Second Reading, Paul teaches that those who believe have also risen from the dead.

Therefore, they must lead lives worthy of their resurrected bodies