1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
The resurrection of Jesus in chapter 20 is the climax of the gospel of John. Chapter 21 is an epilogue.
John in this chapter explained how he came to believe in the resurrection. His account is unique and distinct from the synoptic gospels. He did not contradict the synoptics but gave a different perspective.
Now on the first day of the week
The resurrection of Christ occurred on the first day of the week—Sunday. He rose from the dead before dawn. The Bible says nothing about what happened to Jesus on the Sabbath or Saturday.
Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark,
None of Jesus’ disciples was expecting Him to rise from the dead. This Mary is the woman from whom Jesus exorcised seven demons (Lu 8:2). Her life was transformed from that point forward. She had been delivered from the power of Satan. She arrived in the dark of the morning. Other women arrived at the tomb in the morning as well (Mt 28:1; Mk 16:1; Lu 24:10). However, later she was the first to see the risen Jesus (Mk 16:9). She gave the good news to the disciples (Jn 20:18).
and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
Jesus’ tomb had been sealed with a large, round rock by the Roman soldiers. Mary was surprised to find the tomb open. The tomb was not open to let Jesus out but to let the disciples in.
Then she ran and came to Simon Peter,
Mary came to Peter first because he was the leader of the apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 16:8).
and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved,
This “disciple” is the author of this gospel, the apostle John (Jn 19:26–27; 20:2–9; 21:7, 20–25).
and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we [plural] do not know where they have laid Him.”
Mary assumed in her bewilderment that someone had robbed the tomb. This would have violated both Jewish and Roman burial policies. Mary had no expectation of the resurrection. Her use of “we” implies that other women were with her at the tomb. She was clearly in distress.
Minute appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection produces little gratefulness for Him.
The death of Jesus was to pay the price for our sins. His resurrection on the third day verified His claims. These events are of great moment. Where there is little appreciation for our indebtedness to Christ, there will be microscopic love for Him.