Peter, At the Empty Tomb

Jesus has been crucified and buried in the tomb.  Peter was close enough by that he locked eyes with Jesus when he denied him.

We are not told where Peter was when Jesus was actually crucified.   Was he watching the crucifixion from a nearby hill or had he returned home in sorrow at the way he’d denied his Lord?  Scripture does not say.  Knowing Peter, I’d guess that he was somewhere close by watching what was happening.  But that is only my speculation.

Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus after the crucifixion and sabbath has ended.

The Tomb is Empty

Notice what she does next in John 20.

“Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher.”

“The disciple whom Jesus loved in a special manner, and who therefore in a special manner loved Jesus, was foremost. The love of Christ will make us to abound in every duty more than any thing else. He that was behind was Peter, who had denied Christ. A sense of guilt hinders us in the service of God. As yet the disciples knew not the Scripture; they Christ must rise again from the dead.” {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Peter rose up when he heard the tomb was empty

“Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

“John looked in, but Peter went in. The grave clothes were carefully folded and laid aside.”
{Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed.

“The impulsive, thoroughgoing nature of Peter was not content with a mere look; he

Peter and John ran to the empty tomb

entered the tomb, neither reverence nor awe keeping him out. The sight which he saw puzzled him. Why should those who removed the body pause to unswathe it? why should they unswathe it at all? why should they fold the napkin and place it aside so carefully? But Peter left the tomb with these questions unsolved.”
{The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

only the cloth that covered Jesus was left in the empty tomb

“Here, then, was the first belief and the first believer in the resurrection; it is important to note that the Scripture did not suggest the fact, but the fact illumined the Scripture.”   {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels}

Luke 24:12 says, “Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.”

Wikipedia says, “In Luke’s account, the women’s report of the empty tomb is dismissed by the apostles, and Peter is the only one who goes to check for himself, running to the tomb. After seeing the grave clothes he goes home, apparently without informing the other disciples.”

Peter and John believed

“Peter now ran to the sepulcher, who so lately ran from his Master. He was amazed. There are many things puzzling and perplexing to us, which would be plain and profitable, if we rightly understood the words of Christ.”   {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary}

We are told in the birth narrative that Mary pondered all things in her heart.  Peter went away “wondering at what had come to pass”.  He was pondering all of the events in his own heart.

Imagine, how he must have sorted through his mind at the scriptures and all Jesus had said and done in the three years he followed him.  His shock must have quickly moved to wonderment and marvel that this man truly was the son of God.  All doubt he had was now banished forever.

How would you have felt if you stood in that empty tomb?  Do you know the risen Savior?


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