The Cloth

My pastor pointed out something today during his Easter sermon that I don't want to forget... something in a passage that I've read a hundred times but never stopped to really question....

John 20:3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Did you catch it?  That first sentence in bold?

The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

That followed by this...

He saw and believed.

What did he see?  The tomb was empty. 

What did he see? He saw the cloth lying "in its place", separate from the linen.  Was that customary of the time to do that - take your cloth wrap (typically for your head) and fold it separate from your other linens?  Based on what my pastor said this morning, it was not.

So, why is this significant?  Go with me here...

Perhaps this disciple that "saw and believed" - the one "that Jesus loved" as referred to early in the chapter - this would be John - perhaps John had noticed that Jesus did that as His own personal custom when they traveled.  Perhaps he had even questioned Jesus, "Why do you do that, Jesus?  Why fold your head cloth and set it apart from your linens?"  Perhaps John even gave him a mocking smile as he asked that question with a hint of sarcasm?  To which, perhaps, Jesus replied with a knowing smile.  A smile that to Him alone meant, "One day John, this will be a sign to you.  A sign that I am the Lord God - that I have risen from the dead." 

And when John saw that cloth on that awesome Easter day, he knew Jesus must have folded it. He KNEW Jesus was alive - he'd risen from the dead!

He saw and believed. :-)

Isn't that cool!?

Let's take it a bit deeper... Have you had a "cloth" moment?  That is, have you had a moment that you knew God was trying to communicate Himself - His truth - to YOU.  If you have, that would be your "John's cloth" moment.

I had that moment 17 years ago this coming July.  When my aunt Cheryl sat me down and took the time to answer my questions about salvation by actually showing me the answers to my queries in God's word.  God knew that was what I needed to trust in Him as my personal Lord and savior.  And He provided it to me.   And I accepted it - I accepted Him.

It's been a wild ride since!  A great ride!!  An emotional ride, a trying ride, a blessed ride, a priceless ride.

If you are a Christian, you understand how imperfect we are - even though we're saved, we still struggle with sin day in and day out.  At some points in my life, I feel like I'm on the up slope of that roller coaster - where I'm serving and living for God so much so that it feels like I'm about to take off into the clouds.  However, there are those times where I feel like I'm headed for disaster - rolling down a slope and I can't stop. 

I'm currently "rolling down hill."  I want to slow down!  But I can't find the breaks. I can't figure out how to stop the descent.

There's a lot going on in my head right now, and I want to blog about it all!  Sorry to say though, I've run out of time tonight. 

9pm - I'm late for bed! 

Hey, I'm a teacher with two young children - don't judge me! ;-)

Until next time peeps - Hope you had a happy Easter worshiping our risen Savior!


  1. Can you provide the scripture that implies that this was the meaning of the the seperation of the garments? It sounds cool and great for application purposes, but is it biblically supported?

  2. Rachael - When our pastor was giving the sermon where he mentioned this, he emphasized it as a possibility, not a certainty. There's really nothing in scripture to explain why John would see a folded cloth beside the burial linens and "believe" that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead. It was just a guess - at least that's the perception I got - and I believe it to be a good one. Sorry there's nothing more to support it. :-)