Easter is my favorite day of the year.
It’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
It’s the day we celebrate Jesus setting in motion the reversal of the curse and its corrupting influence on creation.
On Easter, I usually go back and read the Gospel account of the resurrection.
This morning was no different.
When I did, I read this:
“Simon Peter therefore also came following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled ups in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.” John 20:6-8.
There are three lessons from the linens:
1. Nobody took Jesus’ body. One of the alternative theories offered in response to the evidence of resurrection is that someone stole Jesus’ body. The rolled up linen head cloth should dispel us of that theory. First, if someone was stealing the body, why would they remove the burial linens? That is gross, and unthinkable. Second, they wouldn’t take the time to roll up the linen. They would be in a hurry because they did not want to get caught robbing the grave and violating Roman law. The linen is more compelling evidence, Jesus indeed rose from the grave.
2. God is a God of order. The linen head cloth was not just left; it was neatly rolled up. This demonstrates that God is a God of order. I Corinthians 14:33. Even in the most important and dynamic event in history, Jesus is calm and in control.
3. Some come to Jesus; Jesus comes to others. Peter and John immediately understood the significance of the presence of the linen wrappings in the tomb–the body had not been taken; Jesus had risen (v. 8). If you read on you see Mary Magdalen didn’t get it (vv. 11-13). She is standing outside the tomb weeping, wondering where Jesus’ body had been taken. Then Jesus appears to Mary, and she believes (vv. 14-16). Some people seek and find Jesus, while with others (e.g. the Apostle Paul), Jesus finds them.
The lesson from the linens is that the resurrection is a fact of history, God is a God of order and He is in control, and there is grace even for those who don’t initially get it.
Happy Easter! GS