The Ultimate Mulligan


A great word in the world of golf is, “Mulligan.” A mulligan is granted to someone after he or she hits a terrible golf shot. It is usually granted by another player and even sometimes by the player who committed the horrific spectacle. And don’t bother looking for the rules of a mulligan… they do not exist. It is a pure grace act. It is a new beginning, a fresh start, a do-over. It means what you have done previously will not be counted against you.

I love today’s text because it serves as the ultimate mulligan for Peter, the other disciples, and, ultimately, for you and me. The final and greatest miracle of Jesus serves as a universal mulligan for those who have botched up life!

  • When in your life do you wish you had a mulligan?


20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Jesus had just been crucified. What was the mood of the disciples over the past three days?
  2. Based on Mary Magdalene’s report in verse 2, what was she thinking had happened to the body of Jesus?
  3. How would verse 7 answer/change the report of verse 2 that grave robbers or others had taken the body?
  4. How does the reality of the resurrection affect or grow your faith, and how does the resurrection give your life new hope?


The empty tomb is the ultimate mulligan given to all humankind. Our sin can be washed away and we can live in victory! The tomb was open and the stone was rolled away. Matthew 28:2 says that there was an earthquake and the stone was rolled away and the angel was sitting on the stone. The tomb was open not to let Jesus’ body out, but to let the disciples in.

  • Spend some time in prayer today thanking the Lord for the resurrection and enjoying the benefits of grace.
  • Lord, because the tomb is empty I have been forgiven for ________, and I can now enjoy ________. Resurrected living causes me to live with _________ today!