Empty Tomb, Wrappings, and Garden: A Better Jesus Movie (John 20:1-18)

Date: 4/12/2020
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Easter
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Empty Tomb, Wrappings, and Garden: A Better Jesus Movie (John 20:1-18)

Empty Tomb (vv 1-3)

Empty Wrappings (vv 4-10)

Empty Garden (vv 11-18)


GS: The most important event of human history is described in this passage and 3 of 18 verses (vv5-7) are spent on details about wrappings of the corpse. Why? The facial veil/shroud is both real and symbolic like the “third day” (2:1), “behold the man” (19:5), and “153 fish” (21:11). It fulfills an allusion in John 11 (Lazarus) fulfilling prophecy (Is. 25:7; 1Cor. 15:54). John “saw [this veil rolled up] and believed” (v8).  When Lazarus came forth, he was “bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth (soudarion)” (John 11:44).


Tomb of Ariston arcosolium (Photo/Biblical Archaeology Society) This tomb is in the same area as the tomb of Annas but we can see from the picture that this is a very different type of burial chamber. This type of burial place is known as an archosolium, which means “an arched recess.” The body would have been laid in sideways on the shelf. https://www.sagu.edu/thoughthub/the-tomb-of-jesus-first-century-jewish-burials


GS: This encounter of Mary with the risen Lord (v14ff) was quite real, but coding for the new creation teaching (all over the NT: 2Cor. 5:17). Chris is the new Gardener, i.e., the New Adam who will cultivate a new creation. After Jesus reveals Himself in this way/for this purpose, Mary is sent to “announce” (angelo) His resurrection to the Apostles. His resurrection restores creation by making a new creation (since resurrection has come). He opens a way back into the presence of the Father (v17), since He will prepare a place for His followers (John 14). 


For the Fourth Evangelist, Jesus’ glorification consists of his death, resurrection, and ascension. The Johannine metaphor for Jesus’ glorification, “lifted up” (?ψ?ω hypsoo┬»), holds together all three parts of Jesus’ “exaltation.” Jesus’ glorification begins when he is lifted up on the cross, but it will not be complete until he returns to God. Gail R. O’Day, New Interpreters Bible



1 Corinthians 15:54 - But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more