John 20-21

In John 2:18, the Jews asked Jesus for a sign of His authority to drive the money changers and animals from their temple. Jesus replied, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days” (John 2:19). John commented that after Jesus was raised from the dead, he and the others remembered Jesus’ words and believed what He had said (John 2:22). To the man who was born blind—and who was kicked out of the synagogue for confessing Jesus’ name before the Pharisees—Jesus said, “I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father” (John 10:17b-18). John arranged his Gospel as a drama culminating in an invitation to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead, just as Jesus had predicted.

Based upon imagery from Psalms and Isaiah, Jews expected the Messiah would reign forever. In John 20:18, Mary announced to the disciples that she had seen Jesus, fulfilling expectations that the Messiah would have eternal life. In Psalm 16, the psalmist confidently asked God to care for him. The psalmist enjoyed God’s protection during the day and God’s counsel on his bed at night (Ps 16:5-8). And he was sure of the future, saying that God would not allow His Holy One to see the pit of Sheol but instead would give His Holy One eternal pleasures at God’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:10-11). Isaiah announced that the child born to Israel would have a vast dominion and rule on David’s throne forever (Isa 9:7). The prophet noted that though God’s servant would suffer, God would prolong the days of His servant and satisfy the servant with the spoils of the victorious (Isa 53:10-12).

After Peter and John witnessed the empty tomb and departed, Mary Magdalene remained outside facing the tomb, and wept (John 20:11). While Mary was bearing her grief to the angels who had appeared in the tomb, Jesus interrupted her and asked, “Who is it you are looking for?” (John 20:15). Jesus addressed Mary by name and instructed her, “Go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God” (John 20:17). Mary did as the Lord had said, implicitly confirming messianic hopes expressed in Ps 16:10-11 and Isa 9:7; 53:10-12.