John 20:11 “But Mary stood without at the
sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped
down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”
1. Angels As Men
2. The Past Tense
3. The Double Take
4. The Signs
1. Angels As Men
The first part of verse twelve: “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet,” [John 20:12].
What did Mary see? She saw two supernatural beings called angels. We will find that the word: “angel” appears 194 times in the King James Bible of 1611 (or any edition of it), and the word: “angels” appears 92 times in the King James Bible of 1611 (or any edition of it). What are they? What did Mary see when she “looked into the sepulcher” that Sunday morning? She saw two supernatural beings that appeared as men, yet they were not men.
Now, the Bible is very careful and very exact in showing us that there are two kinds of creatures that either inhabit this earth or visit this earth all the time. What are these two kinds of creatures? These two groups or kinds of creatures are angels and men.
You say, prove it.
Well, my friend this is easy. Do you believe God’s word? The Apostle Paul acknowledges this truth in the epistle of First Corinthians chapter four in verse nine: “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” [1 Corinthians 4:9]
Do you see it? We can be made a spectacle, not only to men, but to angels. Just think on this for a moment. It is a fact based on the testimony of this BOOK that angels are all around us, and we do not realize it.
Here is another one for you. Are you ready for it? We are told in the Bible that we may have at some time, or other, entertained angels in our home without even knowing it. Let me read to you the great possibility to you found in Hebrews thirteen, verse two: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” [Hebrews 13:2]
There is something else that we need to let sink into our noodles. It is this. Angels appear as men every time they show up in the Bible. Check it out for yourself. Do not believe Rick St.James. Go get yourself a concordance and check it out. I will show you, however, the classic proof text. Are you ready for it?
Turn to Genesis chapter eighteen.
We have here Abraham lifting up his eyes and seeing three men standing by him. Read verse two: “And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,” [Genesis 18:2].
Who are these three men? Let’s find out. This Bible can clear all the muck and mire of false notions out of our minds and our heart.
Now, skip down to chapter nineteen, verse one: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;” [Genesis 19:1]
These two angels are the two of the three men in chapter eighteen, verse two. Do you see it now? Do you believe what you just read? Well, do you??? Come on, now. Every time … in the Bible … that angels show up, they appear as men to us.
This is what Mary saw. She saw two supernatural beings that appeared as men.
Now, note this. Angels do not have wings. Men do not have wings. Why can I say this? I say this, because the BOOK just showed me this. They appeared as men. They are masculine in gender. Duh!!! So much for tradition and superstition, just throw it out in the trash
The Book clears it up! Amen!
2. The Past Tense
The last part of verse twelve: “… where the body of Jesus had lain.”
Note the “had lain.” It is in PAST tense. This Bible is perfect. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” [Psalm 12:6-7] We can count on every jot and tittle in this in this King James Bible to be God’s word. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” [Matthew 5:18]
This includes the tense of the verb here in our text: “… where the body of Jesus had lain.” Jesus’ body WAS there but now iwas not there. Jesus Christ rose from the grave!
3. The Double Take
Verse sixteen: “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
What happened to Mary? Let’s back up a moment, and read with me that fourteenth verse: “And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.”
Here is my question. Why did Mary fail to recognize a person that she had been around so much, and had known, for three and half years? Here is the answer. A believer in Jesus Christ can, at any time, be overtaken with unbelief. What will these momentary lapses into unbelief do in a believer’s life?
Answer: these momentary periods of time where we lapse into unbelief will leave us blind to some spiritual truth that is readily at hand, even if it is something that is staring us right in the face.
Mary did not recognize Jesus, who was standing there, because she had a mindset [heart problem] that HE was still held by DEATH. The realty of the RESURRECTED SAVIOUR was not “front and center” in her heart. It wasn’t until the “Word of God” by the Holy Ghost revealed to her the RESURRECTED SAVIOUR that she recovered her sight.
Look at verse sixteen with me: “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” This was Mary’s DOUBLE TAKE. She looked the first time in unbelief and failed to see. She, then, looked a second time in belief, and could see.
4. The Signs
Verse twenty: “And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”
This is one of the many instances [or proofs] that Jesus Christ showed to HIS disciples that HE is God “… manifest in the flesh.” [1 Timothy 3:16]
According to Acts chapter one, verse three; there can be no argument concerning the veracity of the historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here, is how the Bible put it. Are you ready? Let me read there now. “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” [Acts 1:3].
These are known as infallible proofs! What does infallible mean? According to the 1828 Webster Dictionary:
INFAL'LIBLE, a. [L. fallo.]
1. Not fallible; not capable of erring; entirely
exempt from liability to mistake; applied to
persons. No man is infallible; to be infallible is
the prerogative of God only.
2. Not liable to fail, or to deceive confidence; certain; as infallible evidence; infallible success.
To whom he showed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs--
These disciples in verse twenty [of our text] were made “glad” when they saw the Lord. Amen! Jesus Christ was made approved of God by these “miracles and wonders and signs.” Acts chapter two tells us this [in verse twenty-two]: “Ye men of Israel, [JEWS] hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” [Acts 2:22]
Remember, the Jews require a sign in order to believe. “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” [1 Corinthians 1:22].
God gave them [the Jews] “many infallible proofs” of WHO HE WAS.
Now, God has given us [the Gentiles] a BOOK [a record] to show us a WHO HE is. Amen!
Here is what it says in First John. “That
which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have
looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word
of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have
seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that
eternal life, which was with the Father, and was
manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and
heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with
the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
[1 John 1:1-3]