6 Then following him Simon Peter also comes and goes into the tomb, and he saw the linen bandages laying there,
7 and the cloth that was on His head was not with the bandages, but was folded up, laying in a separate place.
8 When the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, went in he saw and he believed.
9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture that it is necessary for Him to rise from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away on their own.
Perhaps a question that we might want to ask is why only two of the disciples acted on Mary’s report that the body of Jesus had been taken. They were all probably in the grip of great fear, meaning that they may have been afraid to be seen out and about. Also it being very early in the morning they would not be able to mingle with the crowds.
Fearing that they might be easily identified if they all went out together we can understand that they may have tried to diminish any attempts to arrest them.
There are occasions when caution in the face of opposition is the best course of action. Earlier in John’s gospel we read that Jesus didn’t go up to Jerusalem for the feast of Shelters, along with His brothers. However, He did eventually go, but in secret:
Now when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He also went up, though not openly but in secret – John 7.10. Jesus was pre-emptying an early arrest of Himself.
Probably this may also have been in the mind of the disciples.
We also must learn when it is right to do things openly, and when it is right to be secretive about what we are doing for Jesus. This requires us to lean heavily on the Holy Spirit, listening to His prompting as to what we should do.
As John and Peter set out for the tomb they must have wondered what they were going to find. They may have thought that the empty tomb was an ambush, a trap set to by their opponents to catch them.
It might have crossed their minds that the women had gone to the wrong tomb. In the time that it took them to reach the tomb their imaginations may have run wild.
We all know these kinds of situations; we know the speed at which imagination can build supposedly insurmountable obstacles. No doubt anxiety aided their running to the tomb.
When we get anxious the best course of action is to do as God’s word tells us:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done – Philippians 4.6 (NLT).