An Easter Message

 

            
     Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

 

 
     The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

     The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

      Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

     She ran and found 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!’

      Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in
and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in.

      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!

Is it really significant? Yes!

     In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

     When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.

     The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

      Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

     The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, ‘I’m done’.

      But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because……….

The folded napkin meant, ‘I’m coming back!’

 

 

 

 

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REJOICE!

 

I’m traveling this weekend but just had to squeeze in this moment to wish you a very blessed and Happy Easter!

 

Because of Jesus, every person on this planet has been given an invitation by God the Father, to spend eternity with Him.  What a gift!  Thank you, Lord.  Thank you, Jesus.  You are worthy of all praise!

 

HE IS RISEN!

 

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It’s Your Call – A Follow-Up

 

 

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

“Was it a once and for all watershed moment, w/ occasional tests to your resolve, or has it been a gradual healing?” 

 

I think DM’s  questions in his comment to my previous post deserve a follow-up.   I’ll try to do that without starting to rant… 

 

 First of all, DM, my answer is Yes. 

 

Yes, it was a watershed moment. 

 

Yes, with occasional tests to my resolve. 

 

And, Yes, it has been a gradual healing. 

 

It really was a “Eureka!” moment when I realized I could go either way in my outlook about my childhood.  I just decided it was more fun, and more pleasant – and more healing – to choose to enjoy those years in my memory.  I did not want to keep carrying the baggage.

 

It was a growing thing, though, too, to realize that getting free of bitterness requires forgiveness.  It has taken years to learn how – and why – to forgive.  On issues where it seemed impossible to forgive, I learned two sobering lessons:

 

            1.)  The greater the depth of one’s understanding of one’s own need to be forgiven, the easier it is to forgive others. 

 

When we’re stuck with unforgiveness, we only need ask God to show the depths of our own sinfulness.  Then, be prepared, because He can go deep!  It can be very scary.  And humbling.  Devastating, actually,  But, trust Him, it’ll make it easy to forgive others. 

 

           2.)  Unforgiveness isn’t just about what we think of our enemy.  It is a statement about what we think of Jesus.  When we will not forgive, we are  telling Jesus that what He went through…His sacrifice, His excruciating suffering and death…were not enough.  We are telling Him that, in our book, He comes up short.  We are telling both the Father and Jesus that His blood wasn’t adequate to remove our enemy’s sin.

 

It must not be adequate to remove our’s, then, either. 

 

There is also one more, “Yes,” DM, to a question which you didn’t ask…

 

Yes, it is an ongoing challenge. 

 

Stuff still happens.  I must continue to decide to reject bitterness and unforgiveness.  

 

And I must decide to trust God.    Daniel understood this: 

 

“And when Daniel was lifted from the (lion’s) den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.”  Daniel 6:23 NIV

 

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