The Grave Clothes

March 30, 2018

Today is Good Friday – the day we commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.  It may seem ironic to call the day a loved one died “good,” but it was Easter Sunday that put the “good” in Good Friday.  Had Jesus remained in the grave, there would have been nothing good about His death.  But His resurrection validated His work on the Cross, proving He is the Son of God, whose shed blood was good for our salvation.


Good Friday is not the end of Jesus’ story!  We are going to move beyond the Cross in our devotional today, as we continue our series on The Miracles of Calvary.  This week, we have been discussing six amazing miracles (besides the resurrection) that took place at Calvary.  The first one – the darkness – occurred for three hours leading up to Jesus’ death.  The next three took place immediately after He died:  the tearing of the temple curtain, the earthquake, and the open tombs.  The final two miracles occurred on the day of His resurrection.  The miracle we are focusing on today is the undisturbed grave clothes of Jesus.


Then Simon Peter came, following Him, and went into the tomb.  He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;  (John 20:6-8)


The linen cloths that Jesus left behind in the tomb had a remarkable arrangement.  It’s interesting that Matthew mentions the other five miracles in our series, but not this one.  John wrote about this one, but not the other five, so the arrangement of Jesus’ grave clothes must have had a remarkable impact on John.  Luke tells us that when Peter saw them, he left the tomb marveling at what had happened (Luke 24:12), but our text above says that when John (the other disciple) saw, he instantly believed.  What was it about the grave clothes that caused John to believe, and made him want to write about it?


First, the strips of linen were lying there, evidently in the same position.  They may have collapsed upon themselves when His body disappeared, but they were basically in the same position they’d been in when they covered His body.  (If His body had been stolen, the linens would have been taken too, or they would have been unwrapped, and left in a heap.)


Second, the burial cloth around Jesus’ head had been folded up by itself.  It was not left in a heap.  It was not thrown on the floor.  It was carefully folded, because the Lord’s departure was orderly and unhurried.


The position of the grave clothes was all John needed to see to believe that His best Friend, Jesus was alive.


Today’s Good News is that Jesus is alive!  While we commemorate His death on Good Friday, we are not mourning the loss of a Friend.  We are celebrating the sacrifice of a now living Saviour, and that’s why this day is Good.


Now, go share the Good News…




Today’s devotional is Part #5 of a series on The Miracles of Calvary.  I invite you to come back tomorrow for the conclusion of this series.


An important source for this series was a book by William R. Nicholson called The Six Miracles of Calvary.


If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.

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