Before Jesus conquered the grave on Resurrection Sunday, He let it know that He was coming for it when He brought his friend Lazarus who had been dead in a tomb for four days back to life.
John 11:43-44 …He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
If you grew up attending Sunday School you probably remember being wrapped in toilet paper on the day that you heard the story of Lazarus… his grave clothes are always mentioned in the telling of his story. Jesus had grave clothes too, but He didn’t come out of the tomb wrapped like a mummy.
Peter and the “fast disciple” also known as John, had just heard the news that Jesus’ body was no longer in His tomb and they ran to go see for themselves. Of course the fast disciple got their first and here’s what happened next.
John 20:5-7 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
Jesus’ grave clothes had been neatly folded and left in His empty tomb. Why did John mention that part? I think it’s because he wanted us to know two things.
One. Lazarus was not resurrected, he was just brought back to life. Eventually, he would need those grave clothes again, because eventually he would die again. Not Jesus. Those clothes were useless to Him now, because he was resurrected for eternity! He will never die again!
Two. Jesus was a carpenter and so was Joseph, His earthly father. When a carpenter completed a job he would fold up the cloth he had been using to wipe his sweat or dry his hands and place it atop the finished project. When the person who hired him came to inspect the work and saw a folded towel lying there, they knew that the carpenter had completed his job. Jesus had probably done this himself when he was working as a carpenter and he probably learned it from Joseph.
When the disciples saw the neatly folded clothes they had to have known what Jesus was trying to tell them. His work was finished. He had completed His project. He had conquered the grave once and for all. I can see John & Peter picking up the clothes and nodding their heads at the subtle yet powerful message that their friend, their savior, Jesus Christ had left behind for them.
I am so thankful that I don’t have to walk around bound by grave clothes because of the completed work of the cross. Jesus painted a beautiful masterpiece during the 33 years that He lived on the earth, and then, like any artist who was proud of his work, He signed it. He completed it with His signature, His neatly folded grave cloths.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Rejoice today! He is risen! He is risen, indeed! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, not in grave clothes, but in ultimate glory!
- Jesus conquered the grave!
- He is risen! He is risen, indeed.
- The fast disciple wrote about the neatly folded grave clothes.
- The Spirit of Him who raise Jesus from the dead dwells in me!!!
- Easter has risen to a whole new level for me this year… studying it in depth has been so cool.
- Enjoyed my quiet time in the bathtub this morning.
- Slept like a baby through the thunder storm last night.
- Gus and Papa enjoyed looking at all of the cool cars at the car show this morning.
- Beau held her own in the bounce house with all the big kids.
- Thousands of Easter Eggs being devoured by all the little locust children. I’ve never seen so many Easter eggs disappear so quickly.
- Jelly beans!
- Delicious lunch at 5th St Cafe. That place never disappoints.
- Nana got Gus the stuffed Mario & Luigi he’s been praying for for his Easter basket.
- Nana got Beau the ice cream eating Baby Alive for her Easter basket!
- Gus got some nice, new Jake pajamas for his basket.
- Beau got some pretty Tangled PJs for her basket.
- Beau looked absolutely adorable in her Easter outfit. I’m glad I got to experience that!
- Gus in a bow-tie.
- J Crew decided to leave the sensor on my shirt and I didn’t notice until a few minutes before church, thankfully my skirt hid it pretty well.
- I loved worshipping my King tonight at church. It was completely overwhelming.
- Pastor Robert never waters down the word. His Easter message was deep and powerful. Daniel 7! Amazing!
- Full 4:00 service at the GW Frisco campus!
- Papa carries a handkerchief… bonus learned how to spell handkerchief tonight. Who knew it had a D in it?
- The kids the cutest little stuffed lambs in their classes at church.
- Beau graduated… she’s a Tiny Train now and proud of it!
- Yummy roast, potatoes and carrots waiting for us when we got home.
- Via Dolorosa.