Weekly Parent Connection
October 10
Bible Story
Jesus’ Resurrection: Mary at the Tomb (John 20:1-18)

Bible Truth
God raised Jesus from the dead to defeat sin and death.

Bible Memory Verse
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25)

Big Picture Question
Where is Jesus now? Jesus ascended to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Christ Connection
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Jesus from the dead to reign as King over all creation. Jesus provides salvation from sin and the promise of eternal life.
Unfolding God's Story For Parents
John’s Gospel records that only Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb early on that Resurrection morning. Some scholars feel this contradicts the other Gospels, which state that other women accompanied Mary. However, in John 20:2, Mary uses the word “we” as she tells Peter of what was seen at the tomb. Apparently John knew of the other women; he just didn’t feel it necessary to mention them since Mary was the central figure. 

It is obvious from Mary’s response and from that of the disciples that no one expected Jesus to rise from the dead. Only after his resurrection were they able to remember things he had said and realize that his death was part of the plan all along. 

The “other disciple” mentioned in verse 2 was John himself. Even though he arrived at the tomb first, he didn’t go in immediately. Bold, impetuous Peter arrived after John and burst into the tomb to see what had happened. The body was gone, but the grave clothes were still there. In fact, the wrap that had been on Jesus’ head was folded up, not tossed carelessly as a grave robber might have done. 

We aren’t told of Peter’s response, but we see that when John followed him in and saw the position of the grave clothes, John believed. 

Peter and John left the tomb, but Mary couldn’t. For her, the disappearance of Jesus’ body was still a mystery. As she stood outside sobbing, she peered into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there. In her grief, it didn’t register who or what they were. Her response to the angel’s inquiry indicates that she hadn’t grasped what had happened. She was sad because she thought Jesus’ body had been taken away. She had no comprehension that Jesus had risen. 

Why did Mary not recognize the Lord she was looking for when she turned around and saw him? Several factors probably contributed to her lack of recognition: She knew he was dead and was not expecting him to be alive, she may not have raised her eyes to really look at him because she didn’t want to show her tears, she may not have seen clearly through her tears anyway, and Jesus was now in his glorified body—he may have looked very different from when she had last seen him. 

It is interesting that Jesus repeated the same question the angels had asked Mary. The angels and Jesus were both trying to help Mary understand what had actually happened. But she just couldn’t comprehend it until Jesus called her name. She knew the voice of Jesus and recognized him. Why did Jesus not want Mary to hold on to him? Perhaps he wanted her to realize that his physical presence was no longer so important. He would always be spiritually present in the Holy Spirit.

We are like Mary in a lot of ways, and this instance is no exception. Just as she was failing to live in light of Jesus’ resurrection, we likewise in many cases fail to live as if Jesus has truly risen. We live instead as if Jesus is present in our lives but not present with the same power that raised Him from the dead (Ephesians 1:13-14,20-23; 2:6). Rather than look down in despair, we need to listen for the voice of our living Savior in Scripture.

“My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). This is how Jesus described believers’ capacity to hear His voice and obey it. In John 20:16, we see a concrete example of this dynamic. Mary, one of Jesus’ precious sheep, heard Jesus say her name, and she knew with certainty that the good shepherd was speaking to her. Though we today haven’t received the opportunity to see Jesus in His glorified flesh, those of us who have experienced the new birth from the Spirit have effectively heard His voice.

Since Jesus has called us by name, we have no excuse for failing to heed His commands and we have every reason to live with joy and hope.
Share the Bible Story
On the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb. It was still dark, and she saw that the large stone at the entrance had been moved away. 

Mary ran to Simon Peter and John. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put Him!” she said. Peter and John ran to the tomb. John looked inside and saw the linen cloths lying there. Then Peter went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths too. The cloth that had been around Jesus’ head was folded up. John believed that Jesus was alive. Then Peter and John went back home. 

Mary went back to the tomb and cried. When she looked inside, she saw two angels sitting there. They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
 
“Because they’ve taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put Him,” she said. Then Mary turned around. Jesus stood in front of her, but she did not recognize Him. Jesus said, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” 

Mary thought Jesus might be the gardener. She replied, “Sir, if you have taken Jesus away, tell me where you’ve put Him and I will go get Him.” 

Jesus said, “Mary.” 

Mary realized who He was and said, “Teacher!” 

Jesus sent Mary to tell the other disciples that He was going back to the Father. Mary did what Jesus said, and she told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” 

Meanwhile, some of the guards from Jesus’ tomb went into the city and told the religious leaders everything that had happened. The leaders got together and made a plan. They gave the soldiers a lot of money and told them to lie about what they saw. 

“Say that Jesus’ disciples came in the night and stole His body while you were sleeping,” they said. The guards took the money and lied about Jesus’ resurrection.
Bible Story Connections
1. Which woman was among the first people to learn of Jesus’ resurrection? (Mary Magdalene, Matt. 28:1) 

2. When Mary met Jesus, what did He tell her to do? (go and tell the other disciples about His resurrection, Matt. 28:10) 

3. How did the religious leaders try to prevent people from learning about Jesus’ resurrection? (they bribed the soldiers to lie, saying the disciples stole the body; Matt. 28:12-15) 

4. Why is it important to know Jesus rose from the dead? Guide kids to think about what Jesus’ resurrection proved about His power over death. Had Jesus remained dead, it would show that His sacrifice was not perfect and did not fully pay for sin. 

5. What does it mean that Jesus defeated sin and death? Guide kids to think about the control sin has over the lives of those who are lost. Discuss the phrase “dead in sin” and the implication that we are powerless against sin. Remind kids that sin leads to death, both physical (we all die eventually) and spiritual (we are separated from God). Jesus’ victory over sin and death means we will rise again to live forever with God in a perfectly restored world. 

6. How do you feel when you think about Jesus’ resurrection? Guide kids to think through and process their emotions. Do they feel happy? Excited? Unsure? Remind kids that our feelings do not define what is true, but they can help us understand the truth of the gospel.


Table Time Discussions:
1. I wonder what it was like to be going to Jesus’ tomb that Sunday morning?

2. I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus died?

3. I wonder what it feels like when someone or something you love dies?

4. I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus’ body was not in the tomb?

5. I wonder what it was like to hear, “Jesus is alive. Jesus is risen”?

6. I wonder how Mary knew this person was Jesus?

7. I wonder how Mary felt when Jesus called her by name?

8. I wonder what it felt like to tell others that Jesus is risen?

9. I wonder how we can know that Jesus is alive?
Family Activities
Trade Backs
Instruct each of your kids to complete a series of tasks: 
Each kid must: 
1. Jump rope twice. 
2. Flip a coin until it lands on heads five times (total, not in a row). 
3. Roll a tennis ball under their legs. 
Or come up with your own set of tasks.

Set aside the items needed for each of them to complete the tasks: jump ropes, coins, and tennis balls. Tell your kids that in order to use each item, they must trade one shoe to get their first item and must trade back each item to get the next. After completing all three tasks, each kid will return its tennis ball to retrieve the player’s shoe.

SAY: Each time you needed an item, you had to trade something to get it. At the end, you traded back the tennis ball to get your shoe again. This can help us think about our story today. Jesus paid for our sin by laying down His life. After He died on the cross, He took His life up again. God raised Jesus from the dead to defeat sin and death. He traded His perfect life for our sinful ones, and as a result, we can live forever with God through faith in Jesus.
Blessing
(Child’s name), may you know that God loves you so much. His love for you is so deep that He entrusted you with being His model in this world.

May you feel the weight of this responsibility, and may it also bring you great joy. Reflect God to everyone you meet through your words, actions, and attitudes.

May many people come to know, love, and serve God by watching your life and example.