…since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
The darkness of yesterday should not be easily emptied of its power. John is sure that Jesus’ death is no ruse. He saw with his own eyes that: “One of the soldiers pierced His side, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth – that you also may believe.”
Place yourself in the disciples’ world for this moment. Jesus – the one who they believed to be the way, the truth, and the life – was dead. He had prepared them for this, they now could see, and they had perhaps spent the past few days parsing through his final words. They were undoubtedly exhausted, after their unrelenting week. Were they also confused? Steadfastly hopeful? Anxious? Fearful?
This silent interregnum hides in the background as the Gospel turns to its final act – On the first day of the week… It’s interesting that this phrase is repeated later in this chapter, inserted unnecessarily (or so it seems) in verse 19. And it’s not the only time John keeps a precise calendar in this chapter, as though he’s affirming a truth or refuting an error.
The Gospel feels like it ends with the conclusion of chapter 20, where John explains his reason for writing this book: “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” The revelations of chapter 21 seem to focus more on Peter than on Jesus. Pay attention to this spotlight, remember where we left Peter at Jesus’ trial, and consider what John’s intentions are in highlighting this, and in Jesus’ repeated emphasis to “Follow Me.”
Our verse for this week is John 3:19: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
John chapters 20 and 21. Now let’s read it!
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.