Week of Easter: He is Risen!
Wednesday, April 19 – Object Lesson: Linen Clothes – Read John 20:1-18
There has been a great deal of interest in the Shroud of Turin, a burial cloth that many observers think is the actually shroud used to wrap Jesus’ body after his death. Could the Shroud of Turin be the authentic burial cloth of Jesus? Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t think so.
John makes it quite clear that Jesus was not buried in a single piece of cloth, but several. Peter ran to the tomb and observed the linen wrappings, not wrapping-single. Deceased persons during this time were wrapped in strips of linen. The head was bound in a separate cloth than the pieces used for the body. Think about the way a mummy looks.
John reiterates these findings. At the raising of Lazarus in John 11:44, Lazarus emerged from the tomb, “hand and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.” That was the customary burial procedure, and we should not think that those who wrapped the body of Jesus deviated from the normal Jewish tradition.
It would be so nice and quite comforting to us if a piece of tangible evidence existed, wouldn’t it? It would make believing in the resurrection so much easier. All we would have to do is look at it, like Peter and John did, call it a day, and go home.
Yet, we would miss out. Think about Mary Magdalene’s experience. She refused to go home. Weeping in a garden, she encountered the Risen Christ. He called her by name and sent her forth as an evangelist to the disciples.
The kind of faith Christ calls us to wrap ourselves in is not one that comes from glancing briefly at folded linen clothes and scurrying home to put up our feet and relax. The type of faith Christ beckons us to is found in places of weeping, places of rejoicing, places where our names are called, and our lives are changed forever-the very place where Christ commissions us as His evangelists, and we go quickly to tell others, “I have seen the Lord.” So much better than just viewing burial clothes, don’t you think?
Prayer: Jesus, call me by name and send me forth into the world as an evangelist of the good news. Amen.
Object Lesson Actions:
*Spend some time sitting in a garden.
*Plant a flower to remind you of new life.
*Look at a picture of burial clothes during the time of Jesus. Look at a picture of the Shroud of Turin.