Saturday, March 26, 2016

a small detail

"...and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."  (John 20:7 ESV)

Here's a little detail that the Apostle John notes about the now-empty tomb of Jesus.  The face cloth -- a separate wrapping for the head of the one prepared for burial -- was folded up, off to one side.  It was a simple act, yet with profound meaning.   

The scene that faced the witnesses at the tomb early that first Easter morning was not one of chaos or disarray. The empty tomb of Christ was not a scene of plundering.  Neither was it the scene of some strange force, or some unexplained anomaly. 

This action -- folding a cloth -- is such a human thing.  It was deliberate, calm, and personal.  Chaotic or random forces do not usually take time to fold clothing. 

It's as if Jesus, done with his work, is putting his work clothes away.  Jesus' life was not taken from him, but he freely laid down his life in his redeeming work for us.  

This cloth is additional confirmation that Christ was no longer dead, and that his death was not tragic or meaningless. Christ's enemies were chaotic and disordered and cruel, indeed.  But God's plan was purposeful, deliberate, and brought eternal restoration of order and peace.  

Like the folding of clothes.

1 comment:

Ted Handel said...

There a Hebrew tradition about the napkin which would have quickened the hearts of those who entered the tomb and saw the face cloth neatly folded. If a servant saw a crumpled napkin at the table after his master left, he knew he was finished and it was ok to clear the table. However, if the servant saw a folded napkin, it signaled that his master was not yet finished and that he would be back. He (the master, Jesus) is coming back! Hallelujah!