The connection between death and resurrection in John’s gospel has to do with faith. The cross itself does not produce faith. People looked at the cross and said God can’t bring good out of this. But what triggered saving faith, faith in the cross, was the resurrection.
Three marks of faith that the resurrection triggers:
1) Faith rests in truth
Jesus said He would rise again over and over again. He said it so often that His enemies had heard it so they put guards next to the tomb. You would have thought His disciples would have said: “It’s the third day, let’s have a look!”
What evidence would your friends need to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? See Him, touch Him, see Him eat, see Him lots of times. This is exactly what we’ve got in the Gospels. Jesus gave the evidence that broke through these barriers.
If you were making up a story about Jesus rising from the dead, you wouldn’t put women as the first eyewitnesses. The reason why women were the first witnesses was because it happened that way. Historical evidence is powerful. Believe in Christianity because it’s true.
2) Faith comes by grace
All around Mary is evidence, the angels in front and the Lord behind, but she still thinks it’s a disaster. Even if you don’t think Jesus is near you, He is. Jesus breaks through and sends her as the first messenger. How clear does Jesus make it that salvation is by grace. He chooses a women not a man, a former mental health patient as the first messenger. This salvation is as much hers as ours. She was at the bottom of the pecking order but He chose her.
3) Faith works through love
Mary was grabbing hold of Jesus to never let Him go (v17). But Jesus is saying once I’m ascended you’ll still have me. I’m about to ascend to the Father and send the Holy Spirit and you’ll have me. The Spirit brings my presence in your life. Don’t be satisfied with just the objective side. Jesus can come into your hear now.
Be willing to pray and meditate on His Word so you get to a place where He touches you. Let the resurrection not only convince your mind but let you have Him.