The Stone Was Gone - The Napkin Wasn't
In that tomb of God's unjust dying a common napkin was left folded at Jesus' resurrection.
The Gospel of John explains that this napkin which had been placed over the face of a dead Jesus was not randomly thrown aside as the grave clothes were.
Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover Jesus' head was not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. (John 20:6-7)
Why did Jesus fold this linen burial cloth after His resurrection, but prior to leaving His tomb?
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that it was neatly folded and placed on its own in that cold, hollow 'coffin'.
Early on that bitter Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene visited the tomb and discovered the stone rolled away from the entrance.
With urgency she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, they have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'
The two men ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't enter.
Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.
Was that important - absolutely!
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, it is necessary to appreciate contemporary Hebrew tradition.
The folded napkin was a signal between the master and servant.
The servant would set the dinner table for the master to ensure it was exactly as the master required. When the table was furnished perfectly and the family was eating the servant would retire just out of sight, until the master had finished. The servant would not dare touch the table until meal's end.
Now if the master was finished he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin to toss it onto the table. Only then the servant would know to clear the table. In those days the wadded napkin meant - I'm finished.
But if the master rose from the table, folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate the servant would not even approach the table, because the folded napkin meant...
I'm coming back!
Today's Easter Soul Snippet:
At Calvary the world turned its back on Jesus, but He did not return the favor.
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