Scripture Reading:  John 20:1-10

“Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead.” (John 20:8-9)

“The other disciple” referred to in this passage is John.  The account of that first Easter Sunday shows how even the closest disciples of Jesus failed to believe what Jesus had told them on many occasions.  Early in His public ministry, Jesus stated:  “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22).

It seems as if no one understood what Jesus was saying to them.  The women who went to the tomb early on that Sunday morning didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead.  They were filled with grief.  All the disciples scattered and hid after Jesus was crucified.  They were filled with fear and despair.  Surely Peter and John would believe; but they didn’t.  It wasn’t until after they went in the tomb and “saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself” (vs, 6-7), that they believed.

John’s detailed description of the position of the grave cloths suggests that Jesus Himself had taken them off and folded them neatly.  When Peter and John saw the empty tomb and the grave cloths folded, they believed.  They were now confronted with physical evidence that convinced them that Jesus had risen.   Until then they did not relate Jesus’ words to the Scripture — “for as yet they did not understand the Scripture.”  Later, when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the disciples connected the dots.  It was then that they understood the Scripture and saw how Jesus had fulfilled it.

We are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit who illuminates the eyes of our hearts to grasp the truths found in God’s Word.  Even though the disciples had seen the works of Jesus and heard His words, they did not believe.  It was the Holy Spirit who gave them understanding.  Jesus told His disciples:  “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth…” (John 16:13a).  The Spirit gives us proof positive of the truths found in the Scripture.

O Holy Spirit, revealer of truth, open my eyes that I may see and understand all the words revealed in the Scripture.  Guide me into all the truth and help me to apply what You reveal to me.


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