Lesson for the Lord’s Day

And the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. John 20:7

There is a special piece of cloth that bears an imprint of a man’s face and that some have suggested is the burial cloth that was used to wrap the body of the Lord Jesus. The Shroud of Turin has been extensively studied, its fabric has been examined and has been confirmed to be likely from the same period of history as the crucifixion. The stains that the cloth bears make it apparent that the person who was wrapped in it had been crucified. Although the Roman Catholic church does not take an official position on this cloth, it also does not, because of the amount of money involved, discourage those who wish to venerate it as possibly the very shroud of our Saviour. But it is not.

All one has to do is read today’s text and see that there was a napkin wrapped about Jesus head, a napkin that would have made the images on the Shroud of Turin impossible. Whoever was wrapped in that shroud, it was not Christ. So we can write that shroud off as irrelevant. But there is great significance to what we read in this verse about that napkin. It was a separate piece of material, although we don’t know anything else about it. But it speaks volumes about the resurrection.

Remember what we read about Lazarus who was raised from the dead? He was still wrapped in graves clothes, and Jesus had to instruct people to unfasten him. But when it came to His own resurrection, Jesus did not need anyone to unbind the graveclothes. He Himself cast off the trappings of death, and folded up the napkin. He who was dead is alive forevermore. Because of the power of His resurrection, we too have the hope that our bodies will be not only changed, but raised incorruptible.

How important is it to you today that Christ arose? Consider the napkin and appreciate that He has everything about His own death, and about yours, in perfect order. -Jim MacIntosh

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