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DEVOTIONS WITH PASTOR BOB The Gospel of John Chapter 20 “The Grave Clothes a Sign of Triumph”

DEVOTIONS WITH PASTOR BOB

The Gospel of John Chapter 20

“The Grave Clothes a Sign of Triumph”

 

Evidence of the Resurrection: The Grave Clothes

https://youtu.be/coIrUt04ftM

 

 

John 20:1-10 (NLT)

1 Early on 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 we don’t know where they have put him!”

Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 

They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 

He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. 

6-7 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 apart from the other wrappings. 

8-9 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed— for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 

10 Then they went home.

 

 

1 - MARY VIEWED THE GRAVE CLOTHES AS A TRAGEDY

Mary had seen more than her fair share of tragedy during the previous few days and her task that first Easter morning was a grim reminder of it.

It was early, before daybreak and Mary Magdalene was headed for a place she would rather not be going to.

Mary was going out to the place where they had buried Jesus just a few days before.

She was going to perform a gruesome task.

The burial of Jesus had been rushed because of the approaching sabbath at night fall.

The anointing of Jesus’ body had not been finished and now Mary was going out to complete the task.

It was something she had prepared herself for, but as she neared the tomb something was wrong.

But the stone had been rolled away and the body of Jesus was gone!

This seemed to be just one more tragedy to add to the growing list for Mary.

  • Mary had watched as Jesus was given a mockery of a trial.
  • Mary had watched as Jesus was flogged by Roman soldiers.
  • Mary had watched as Jesus was led away to be crucified.
  • Mary had watched as Jesus was nailed to the cross.
  • Mary had watched as the soldier rammed the spear into Jesus side.
  • Mary had helped as Jesus was buried.
  • Mary had watched as the stone was rolled into place.

Mary sees the tomb open and then runs to tell Peter and John.

As she reaches them, notice the words that she uses to describe what has happened.

"They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!"

The words ooze with tragedy.

They hang in the air and reveal the depth of her pain.

These words show the reality of tragic events continuing to unfold.

Mary saw the grave clothes as a tragedy that left her with a broken heart.

Mary’s logic does make sense at this point.

Jesus was dead and the hopes of His kingdom seemed to die with Him.

The hopes of the Messiah had been wrapped in the grave clothes right along with Jesus and laid behind the stone.

Now, the body of Jesus was gone and was nowhere to be found.

The body had been presumed stolen, with no way of being able to find it where it was.

For Mary this was just another tragedy to add to her list.

We can all relate to Mary, because we have seen our fair share of tragedy as well.

  • We have felt the sting of tragedy, when our spouse calls it quits.
  • We have felt the pain of tragedy, when we found out about a personal illness.
  • We have felt the power of tragedy when a loved one passed away.

 

 

2 - PETER VIEWED THE GRAVE CLOTHES AS A TRUTH

When Peter and John heard the news that Jesus’ body was gone, they immediately ran to the tomb to investigate for themselves.

As Peter enters the tomb, he makes an incredible discovery, the body of Jesus was indeed gone, but there was a problem…

The grave clothes were undisturbed making it impossible for the body to have been stolen.

 

 

THE GRAVE COTHES

The grave clothes were divided into two parts for the burial of Jesus.

  • The first section were the strips of linen that would have been used to wrap the body, much like that of a mummy.
  • The second part was the burial cloth that was used to cover the head.
  • The grave clothes were empty as if the body were removed by passing through them.
  • The burial cloth was folded upon itself; this means that it formed a kind of shell.

 

 

PETER’S RESPONCE

How Peter responds to the grave clothes is interesting.

Peter sees the facts of the resurrection in front of his eyes, with no way to deny the reality of it.

  • Peter saw that the stone was rolled away.
  • He saw that the tomb was empty and not ransacked.
  • Peter saw the facts, but left the tomb without a conclusion of what took place.
  • Peter goes home shaking his head in wonder and makes no response to the facts that were right in in front of him.

 

Maybe some of us are like Peter, who approaches situations by just looking at the facts.

  • Maybe we look at life through lenses of being hurt one too many times.
  • Maybe we look at life through lenses that we have been given a raw deal over and over.
  • Maybe we look at life through the fact that sometimes life is beyond our control.
  • Peter had not been restored yet from his denial of Jesus, which could have hindered Him from responding to the facts that he saw.

 

 

3 - JOHN SAW THE GRAVE CLOTHES AS A TRIUMPH

John was there with Peter at the tomb that first Easter morning and he saw everything that Peter saw, but John’s response to it was much different than peters.

  • John saw the stone, he saw the empty tomb, and he saw the grave clothes for what they were, a sign of the resurrection.

 

  • John responded to the facts in front of him, not with more questions, but instead he saw it with faith.

 

  • John saw the grave clothes at a distance and he was already trying to understand what had happened.

 

  • When John takes that step into the tomb that day, he was not just looking for answers, he was looking for truth.

 

  • As John saw the facts unfold in front of him.

 

  • He saw the grave clothes not as a sign of tragedy or just part of the tomb.

 

  • He saw them all as a sign of triumph.

 

  • The grave clothes in the empty tomb communicate a powerful message; Jesus is alive!

 

 

Jesus left the grave clothes in the tomb as a sign, that He had defeated death, and that the power of the resurrection was indeed a realty.

  • The symbol of death, had become a sign of life.
  • The symbol of despair, had become a sign of hope.
  • The symbol of a bitter end, had become the sign of a new beginning.

 

 

THE PROOF THAT JESUS WAS ALIVE

The grave clothes that were the evidence of death, became the evidence that Jesus was now alive.

The grave clothes proves that Jesus can take the greatest tragedies of life, and give us the greatest triumph.

The grave clothes prove that Jesus can move us from just person of facts, to someone with a genuine faith.

 

The tragedy of the grave clothes, blended with the facts of the empty tomb, reveal the triumph of the resurrection.

Amen!

 

Phil Wickham ~ Christ Is Risen

https://youtu.be/vMX9CNgRJCM

 

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