This Easter, Read the Greatest Story Ever Told

Before you celebrate with family and friends, enter Christ’s empty tomb with Mary, Peter and John.

Whether you’ve heard the Easter story a hundred times or a handful, it’s easy to overlook the sheer wonder of this moment in human history. “On the third day he rose again from the dead,” rolls off our tongues with relative ease. Perhaps you casually recite this truth regularly when you say the Apostles’ Creed with your church family.

But this Easter Sunday, don’t rush through the festivities and feasts without stopping to soak in the stunning nature of Christ’s unexpected resurrection from the dead. Open up God’s Word and experience the story anew, reading through the awe-filled eyes of Christ’s first disciples.

Linger with Mary Magdalene in the garden; feel her joyful shock as Jesus says “Mary!” Race with Peter and the other disciple to the tomb; sense their astonishment as they discover neatly folded grave cloths where they expected to find a decaying corpse.

Take a moment and read through John 20:1–18. Ask God to give you a fresh taste of Christ’s glorious victory this Easter Sunday.

John 20:1-18 (GNT)

The Empty Tomb

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!”

Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth which had been around Jesus' head. It was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.) Then the disciples went back home.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. “Woman, why are you crying?” they asked her.

She answered, “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!”

Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. “Woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who is it that you are looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, “If you took him away, sir, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned toward him and said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This means “Teacher.”)

“Do not hold on to me,” Jesus told her, “because I have not yet gone back up to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God.”

So Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and related to them what he had told her.

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