Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1991.
“IV. Jesus’ Self-Disclosure in His Cross and Exaltation (13:1-20:31)” “F. The Resurrection of Jesus (20:1-31)” pp. 631-663.
Carson notes that the end of the crucifixion account does not end the Gospel. The reality of the resurrection is necessary to the message (Carson 1991, 631). The Christian faith depends on a factual resurrection. Carson takes a brief detour to defend eyewitness authorship, almost certainly by the apostle John (Carson 1991, 634). This points to a reliable account which was open to critical analysis by other witnesss. The resurrection narratives are not as consistent as those of the crucifixion. However, the selection of events is not as important from a sequential point of view.
In 20:1, the inspection of the tomb was clearly early in the morning of the first day of the week (Carson 1991, 636). The grave clothes show signs of Jesus’ departure through the cloth (Carson 1991, 637). The sight creates belief, noted in verse 8 (Carson 1991, 638). Verses 10-18 see Jesus’ appearance to Mary (Carson 1991, 639). For some unspecified reason, Mary returns to the tomb. Now she looks in and sees angelic messengers (Carson 1991, 64). After being told by the angel of Jesus’ resurrection, Mary leaves the tomb. She does not recognize Jesus, who appears to her in the garden. Carson notes that Jesus seems difficult to recognize after the resurrection (Carson 1991, 641). Once she recognizes Jesus he urges her to release him, a statement which is cryptic at best (Carson 1991, 642). Mary does take Jesus’ message to his disciples, to whom Jesus appears in verses 19-23 (Carson 1991, 646). Carson notes Jesus’ ability to come to the disciples despite the doors they had locked against the Jewish leaders. Jesus is able to come to his disciples when and where he wishes (Carson 1991, 646). He greets the disciples with his peace and sends them to complete their mission. Carson discusses the modern debate about the scope of the Church’s mission briefly (Carson 1991, 648). He concludes that the work of the Church includes proclamation of the Gospel as well as social care. Jesus’ appearance to his disciples and his breathing on them signifies an empowerment by the Holy Spirit (Carson 1991, 650). Carson does, however, note that the empowerment prior to Pentecost does not seem altogether absolute. This happens later (Carson 1991, 653). Carson discusses the tendency of texts to speak slightly indirectly of events which are widely known and accepted, suchas Pentecost. In verses 24-29 Jesus appears again to his disciples, this time including Thomas (Carson 1991, 656). By his words and actions Jesus shows that he knows what the disciples have discussed. He also shows that he is present physically (Carson 1991, 657). Carson sees Thomas’ confession as an accurate and honest statement of surprised realization. Jesus really is the Lord (Carson 1991, 659). The message of Jesus as Lord is the purpose of the Fourth Gospel. This is found in 20_30-31. The Gospel is written to encourage belief (Carson 1991, 661).