As we celebrate the good news of Easter, many of us are spending time reading in the Gospels and reading about the hope that comes with the empty tomb. One small detail that has stood out to me is from John 20: 6-7, which reads:
“Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”
Why would Jesus care to fold up his head cloth? Some people believe that this is a symbol of from Jewish culture of the day. When a master was finished with his meal, he would throw the cloth a stray, but when he wanted to get up from the table and was coming back, he would fold it up neatly to tell the servant not to clean it up yet because he was coming back. Jesus folding His head cloth could be another reminder that He is coming back for his people and there is hope available from Him. While we can’t know for sure if this is what Jesus was telling us with the folding of the cloth and some combat this interpretation, we can know Jesus offers you hope even when your situation may seem or feel hopeless. All you have to do is accept Him into your heart. Because “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
To break that down a little more, your part is as simple as making Jesus Lord of your life and believe in your heart that He died for you and God raised Him from the dead three days later. Then God takes care of the rest through what Jesus did for you on the cross. Does that mean everything will be easy? No, but you can know that Jesus will be with you until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) no matter the circumstances. And more than that, through Christ, if you follow Him, you can have a hope that is not fleeting, a hope that one day everything will be made right and you will be in paradise with God and your fellow saints. (Revelation 21:4)
Why Did Jesus Have to Die?
When my grandmother passed away, God revealed this to me personally through the book of Romans, which I talked about in my article Graveyard Reflections, but in short, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and since we all have sinned we all deserve punishment. Since we all deserve punishment, God would not be a just God if He did not follow through on that punishment, but instead of punishing us, He offered the free gift of salvation by sending His son Jesus to be punished in our place. (Romans 6:23) But like any gift, there is a giver and a receiver, and the receiver must choose to receive. If they don’t, then the gift is left in the hands of the giver. It is up to each of us to receive that gift and if we have already accepted it, to help others receive that gift. It is my prayer that you reading this would accept that gift if you haven’t already, and would help point others towards the giver of salvation once you have received it yourself.