DEVOTIONS WITH PASTOR BOB
The Gospel of John Chapter 20
“The Grave Clothes a Sign of Triumph”
Evidence of the Resurrection: The Grave Clothes
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.
2 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!”
3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb.
4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 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 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.
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.
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.
Maybe some of us are like Peter, who approaches situations by just looking at the facts.
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.
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 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.
Phil Wickham ~ Christ Is Risen