John 20:1-10

Talks for Growing Christians

Mary Magdalene Discovers the Empty Tomb

John 20:1-10

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Lesson Number 85

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The resurrection of Christ is the best explanation of the evidence.
  2. The resurrection of Christ is predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures.

Practical Application

  1. When in doubt, check it out.


  1. What happened when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb?
  2. What did she do then?
  3. Describe the first century tomb, like the one in which Jesus was laid.
  4. How is the resurrection of Christ the best explanation of the evidence?
  5. In which Old Testament Scriptures is the resurrection of Christ predicted?


  1. She discovered that the stone had been taken away.
  2. She ran and told Peter and John that the tomb was empty.
  3. Tombs then contained chambers cut out of solid rock, with shelves or niches cut into the rock walls, where the bodies would be laid out. A rich man’s tomb, like this one, would have had two chambers – an inner chamber with the shelves, and an outer chamber, called the weeping chamber. A large circular stone would seal the entrance.
  4. If you disprove the resurrection of Christ, you have taken away the basis of the Christian faith. Although unbelievers will try to do this, there is too much evidence and there were too many witnesses to prove that Christ was raised from the dead.
  5. Acts 13:33 refers to Psalm 2:7, and Acts 13:35 refers to Psalm 16:10.


  1. How do you think you would have responded, as a first century disciple, if you had gone to the tomb with Mary Magdalene?
  2. What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean in your life?


  1. When in doubt, check it out. Look at the evidence when you have a question.

Key Verses

  • “On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1
  • “(John), who came to the tomb first, went in also (after Peter); and he saw and believed.” John 20:8

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