• Gathered Under Grace

Napkins


Sunday is here! Jesus is Risen! Hallelujah! During a recent family dinner, we began discussing the different meanings behind how you leave your napkin when you're finished eating. If you enjoyed the meal, if it wasn't good or perhaps, if you're not finished. Each has a potential meaning. Laying your napkin on top of your plate, next to your plate, folded or wadded up; each is significant to someone, somewhere. I imagine there is a chapter that covers napkin subtleties in Emily Post or perhaps it's a well known and easy choice at state or high society dinners. Maybe, but most people don't really use these subtle napkin tactics in their every day lives. Apparently, they didn't in Biblical times either. Like many people, I had heard the story about the folded head cloth signifying that Jesus was coming back. The premise of the story is that to wad up the napkin meant you were finished with the meal and to fold it meant you were not finished and would be returning to finish. Jesus is coming back, of that I have no doubt. As to the significance of the folded cloth as it pertains to this story? Not so much. Apparently napkins weren't part of the culture at the time. So, what's the significance of the folded cloth? Think about it. Jesus is laying on a slab of rock. Wrapped up in linen cloth. He is resurrected. He sits up. Ok. Let's take a minute to breath because something extraordinary just happened. He frees his hands, and removes the wrappings from His face, because until then He cannot see. Breath. It's got to be dark in there, it is a tomb after all, but something tells me there was an angel of light standing nearby. He finishes unwrapping Himself. Legs and body, Arms and head. Ok. Breath. Yep. Alive. He assesses His resurrected body. He is different than He was the last time He took a breath. He takes a moment or three. Maybe even more. Praying and talking to Abba. Breathing. In and out. Breathing. He gives last minute instructions to the angels about what was going to happen next. Breathing. As a final gesture within this moment, He folds the cloth that had covered His head and sets it to the side, away from the rest of the wrappings. Deep breathe. Ok. I'm ready. With a nod of His head the stones rolls away. He walks out of the tomb. Alive. Later rumors flow that the body was stolen. Have you ever imagined that a thief would take the time to neatly fold a piece of cloth or do anything that subtle? Probably not. Maybe this folded cloth was a reasonable and responsible act in order to discredit the expected rumors. Perhaps this folded cloth had a special significance to Peter. John is the one who makes the reference, so perhaps he saw something significant enough that he felt compelled to mention it. Did they assist in the wrapping? Did they provide the cloth? Was there something different about the head cloth that made it so distinctive? Whatever the reason we know two things for sure. The head cloth was folded and Jesus is alive! I don't have a doubt about either of these things and that makes all the difference in the world. Sunday is here and Jesus is Risen! John 20:6-7 NLT "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."

#Salvation #TheCross

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Deltona, FL, USA

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