Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 16, 2019

“For as yet they did not understand the Scripture” – “in His law he meditates day and night” – “He will guide you into all the truth”

Today’s devotion comes from John 20:1-10.

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.  So 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.”  So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb.  The two were running together;  and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;  and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there;  but he did not go in.  And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb;  and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.  So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.  For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.  So the disciples went away again to their own homes.”  John 20:1-10.


When we do not understand Scripture, we can at least remember the Scripture (as compared to dismissing it altogether from our thought).

We can continue to meditate on the difficult to understand Scripture.

We can also compare the Scripture that is difficult to understand with other Scriptures.

“But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1:2.

The disciples could have thought:  “Is the evidence of “the linen wrappings lying there” and the face-cloth “rolled up in a place by itself” more consistent with Jesus’ resurrection or Mary’s initial belief (“They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb”)?

With just a little thought, the disciples could have thought that it is not believable that people who would be inclined to take away Jesus’ body, probably in a rush at night, would take the time to first unwrap the body in the tomb and leave all the linen wrappings there (including neatly roll up the face cloth), rather than just take away it all with the linen wrappings remaining wrapped around the body.

Who would want to face the punishment of breaking the seal on stone the tomb?!  Who would want to linger in the tomb?!  Who would prefer to touch a dead body over touching linen wrappings?!  Who would want to remove a spice barrier to the stench of a dead body?!  

They disciples could also have remembered the resurrection of Lazarus.  If Jesus could resurrect Lazarus, then it is possible that God could raise Jesus.  Moreover, the disciples could remember how Lazarus’ linen wrappings were removed.  “The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.  Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”  John 11:44.

The disciples could have concluded after all of this thought and meditation:  “Maybe, Jesus is risen.”

When we do not understand Scripture, we can also trust the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.”  John 16:13.

In conclusion, none of this is critical of the disciples nor impinges on the sovereignty of God.  God forbid!  Rather, all of this is intended to teach us to remember Scripture, compare Scriptures, meditate on Scriptures, and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. 


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