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« on: April 12, 2009, 06:37:53 PM »

The Napkin

John 20:1-7

The Gospel of John tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Is that important?? You’d better believe it! Is that significant??  Absolutely!! Is it really significant??  Yes!!

In Bible days, when someone died, it was the duty of a family member to close the eyes and kiss the cheek of the dead. When Christ died, this became the duty of two men:  Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. They went to Pontius Pilate and begged the body of the Lord Jesus.

Then they had to take Him down from the cross… which was not an easy chore. First, they had to rig a ladder, and climb up the side of the cross, and then they had to pull His hands off over the nails. There was no way they could get those spikes out of the wood, not from that angle, not with His hands in between the wood and the nail head. Once the hands were loosed, they allowed the body of Jesus to sag into a sheet, and would then remove His feet from the nail in the same manner.

They took the body of Jesus to a new tomb, that Joseph had prepared for himself. They washed His body, and wrapped it in white linen, folding His arms over His chest. They closed His eyes, kissed His cheek, and placed a napkin over His face.

Three days passed like an eternity…...........

I believe with all my heart that the birds refused to sing, and the sun refused to shine. For three days, all the demons of hell rejoiced, and Satan and the forces of darkness thought they had won a great victory. For three days, the Jewish leaders, as well as the Roman government, congratulated themselves on their brilliant scheme.  But on the third day, something wonderful and miraculous happened, as God the Father said to an angel in heaven, “Go get him!”  And when the angel’s feet hit the ground, the stone rolled away, and up from the grave He arose…..... He lives!!

Christ moved out of his burial clothing, leaving them uncluttered as further witness that some outsider did not remove the body. A thief would probably have taken the clothing along with the body. But if the thief had removed the body, he would not have taken the time to replace the garments to their exact position.

The napkin had been folded and lay conspicuously to one side. Why? According to Jewish history,  especially kings and lords of great honor all lived in luxury and enjoyed the service of maids and servants. It was their custom to eat in privacy and when they left the table they used their napkin as a signal to the servants. First, if the king had finished his meal with no intention of returning to the table he simply wadded the napkin and left it on his plate. But if he was not finished, and if he planned to RETURN to the table to complete his meal, he FOLDED the napkin and placed it at the side of his plate. The folded napkin was a message plain and clear to the servants; BE ALERT AND AWARE… FOR I WILL RETURN to the table.

Why did Jesus fold his burial napkin? Only the napkin was folded and not the grave clothes. Christ had left one more sign, one more proof, that told his disciples not to worry because he WOULD RETURN TO THEM. He did return to them as he walked in unannounced and through the walls…he needed no door. The eleven apostles and Paul the twelfth apostle saw him, touched him, talked and ate with him, and the Bible says that there were at least five hundred eyewitnesses that attested to his return.

We all realize the importance of the cross and the blood shed thereon, because without the shedding of blood there is no salvation, there is no remission of sin. After salvation, obedience is just as important because it proves that we LOVE our master. He told us that “If you LOVE me you will keep my commandments” and that simply means ‘you will obey me.’

Then after three days, they saw an empty tomb. Not only did they see an empty tomb, but they saw a folded napkin in that empty tomb!! I believe with all my heart that when they saw that folded napkin God spoke to them in their being and said, “He’s not finished yet… He’s coming back!!”

I thank God today that, He’s not finished yet!! The tomb is empty our Savior is alive the napkin is still folded!!


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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 08:19:02 AM »

I love this story!

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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2009, 02:08:45 PM »


Brother Bob, I've seen something similar to this several times in my life, and it's always thought-provoking and beautiful! THANKS!

Love In Christ,

Colossians 1:13-14 ASV  13  who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love;  14  in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:

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