We’re always in a hurry, and it’s easy for us to miss things. That’s why it’s so good to know that God isn’t, and he doesn’t.
When Simon Peter entered the tomb of Jesus on the greatest Sunday morning in the history of the world, what he found was astonishing! The Roman guard was gone. The stone had been rolled away. The tomb was empty. The Gospel of John also tells us that,
Following him [John], Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. (John 20:6, CEB).
What is interesting about this is that the word that John uses here to say that Peter “saw” the linen cloths is a word that specifically means to look very carefully. He studied them attentively. The reason was that, on top of everything else, to see the grave clothes like was very, very odd. If someone had stolen the body, they would never have taken the time to carefully unwrap it. They would have just grabbed the body and run as fast as they could! No-one needed an unbound corpse! It was almost as if the body of Jesus didn’t need the linen wrappings any longer.
And then the Gospel of John records another amazing thing that Peter found:
He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place (John 20:7, CEB).
Peter’s attention was then focused on the linen cloth that was customarily placed over the face of the deceased. It had been folded up neatly. If someone had come to take the body, they would have been in a rush, and even if they that hadn’t been the case, who would have bothered to take the time to do fold some of the grave clothes?
None of this made sense to Peter. That’s because he didn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. And all of these small eye-witness details are pieces of the evidence that point to the reality of the risen Lord.
What didn’t make sense to Peter can make sense to us.
Jesus Leaves No Loose Ends
The folding of the face cloth wasn’t the act of grave robbers. Neither was it the act of someone trying to perpetrate the greatest hoax in history. It was the act of someone who knew exactly what he was doing, and who wanted to make a statement.
This tells us some very important things about Jesus. When Jesus rose from the dead, despite the importance and excitement of the event, he paid attention to detail. Jesus leaves no loose ends. Jesus is never in undue haste.
For those of us who wonder, amid the seeming chaos of life, whether everything will really be all right in the end, this is really good news!
Jesus is interested in the details of your life; even those things that we might thing should be of no interest to him, like an Instagram post… or a folded napkin. Although you might run around stressed and anxious, worried that you may have missed something in your life, relax and breathe, because Jesus has your back. He has the details of your life sorted out.
No matter how busy you might be, even though it might not look like things aren’t working out for you, remember that the Son of God is never in undue haste.
Jesus does everything well. You can trust him with your life. He left a folded face-cloth to prove it.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question.