Why Did JESUS Fold the Napkin?

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?
I never noticed this….
The Gospel of John (20:7) 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.
Early Sunday morning,
while it was still dark,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found
that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.
She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple,
the one whom Jesus loved.
She said, ‘They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb,
and I don’t know where they have put him!’
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see.
The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first.
He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there,
but he didn’t go in.
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 to the side.
Was that important?
Is it really significant?
In order to understand
the significance of the folded napkin,
you have to understand
a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.
The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant,
and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.
When the servant set the dinner table for the master,
he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.
The table was furnished perfectly,
and then the servant would wait,
just out of sight,
until the master had finished eating,
and the servant would not dare touch that table,
until the master was finished..
Now if the master were done eating,
he would rise from the table,
wipe his fingers,
his mouth,
and clean his beard,
and would wad up that napkin
and toss it onto the table.
The servant would then know to clear the table.
For in those days,
the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished..”
But if the master got up from the table,
and folded his napkin,
and laid it beside his plate,
the servant would not dare touch the table,
The folded napkin meant,
“I’m coming back!”

John 14:22-31
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot,
Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23  Jesus answered and said unto him,
If a man love me, he will keep my words:
and my Father will love him,
and we will come unto him,
and make our abode with him.
24  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:
and the word which ye hear is not mine,
but the Father’s which sent me.
25  These things have I spoken unto you,
being yet present with you.
26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.
27  Peace I leave with you,
my peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth, give I unto you.
Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid.
28  Ye have heard how I said unto you,
I go away, and come again unto you.
If ye loved me, ye would rejoice,
because I said, I go unto the Father:
for my Father is greater than I.
29  And now I have told you before it come to pass,
that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30  Hereafter I will not talk much with you:
for the prince of this world cometh,
and hath nothing in me.
31  But that the world may know that I love the Father;
and as the Father gave me commandment,
even so I do.
Arise, let us go hence.

Today . . .Let us receive He’s peace
Today . . .Let it soothe, gently calm our troubled hearts
Today . . Let His perfect Love cast out our fears.

Published in: on April 10, 2020 at 1:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

An Easter Story

from the book Promiseland, written by Dawn Miller

April 17, 1987
Easter Sunday

And a fine Easter it has been. Preacher out did himself on the service, and giving one of the most beautiful sermons I’ve ever heard, too. I hope and pray I can remember his words just as he spoke them to us so I can keep them in this journal to read on . . .

We sang “Rock of Ages” and Amazing Grace”, and once we finally got seated, Preacher stepped up to the front. He looked all about the tent, smiling at people, nodding, and as soon as everyone got settled and quiet he began.
“I come from a long line of storytellers, . . .
But the best storytellers are those who fire your soul with their words, who leave you with, not just a story to remember, but a different way of looking at life–of living life. Jesus was such a man, and it’s in His honor that I bring you my story for this Easter Sunday.

“Over the years a lot of folks have asked me the same question:
Why? Why did He go through with it?
Why didn’t He just call out to God
and tell Him to stop all of the madness?
After reading the Scriptures more times than I can count,
I came to the same answer every time,
He did it for love.

“Now remember, this is just a story of sorts.
I pray it does justice to His name.
So now I want yo to close your eyes, and just imagine . . .
“Imagine Jesus walking up that lonely hill called Calvary . . .
Memories begin to fill Jesus’ head as He forces His pain-wracked body on. He stumbles once but rights Himself and continues to walk, remembering. He sees anger, then brokenness and doubt, through the eyes of men desperate for a forgiveness they feared they would never have – the very men who would walk with Him.

Then come the memory of fishing . . .
He can hear the slap of a net against the water again, see the childlike amazement on His friend’s faces, hear the laughter of a wedding, and remember the loving sister who fell at His feet, weeping pitifully for her brother.
So beautiful was the human spirit when it loved.

“So many more images come to Him in His memory, and He realizes He has fallen in love with each and every one of them . . .
He stumbles again under the heavy burden on His back then feels the grasp of a firm hand and sees His Father’s love staring out at Him through the eyes of a man dressed in a soldier’s’ uniform.

There are so many who are lost, he thinks,
so many who need to be found . . . My life for theirs, Father . . .
And with that thought He is given a vision of what would come to pass through the ages. He sees an old man who drinks too much because he’s seen too much ugliness in the world. The old man wakes in a snowdrift one night, lying on his back. He begins to cry, calling out to Jesus. A drop of blood falls on this man,
and Jesus sees him being helped up by a scraggly boy–a boy who would later give him a Book that would open his eyes to beauty again.

“Jesus takes another step, and as He does, He sees a fallen woman who cries herself to sleep at night when no one else can hear her–but He hears–
and as she drops to her knees, another drop of blood falls,
and suddenly the woman is a laughing mother of four who travels at night to the worst brothels around to tell young girls she understand their life–and she knows Someone who will treat them better–a man called Jesus . . .

“Jesus nods, thinking, yes, He understands.
Then He lies down willingly as soldiers begin to nail Him to the cross. They begin to hammer, and the pain must be unbearable,
but it’s as if Jesus is distracted by something.
His head is turned, as though He’s listening.
Somewhere in the distance He can hear the laughter of a child,
drowning out the sound of hammering, drowning out the pain,
as a lilting little voice sings strong and sweet,
echoing through the centuries:
‘Yes, Jesus loves me . . .’

“As the hours go by, Jesus feels His heart swell with the love that so many would ponder over the years to come.
Why? they would ask.
But, then, they hadn’t seen what He had seen.
He closes His eyes and with a a great sigh.
He says the words that would make it happen,
the words that would give us a chance
to be all God meant for us to be,
“It is finished.”

Preacher, who had a distant look on his face as he was telling the story, seemed to come to us then, and he looked around the tent. It was so quiet you could’ve heard a pin drop.

“But He wasn’t finished with us, ”
Preacher said, his voice thick with emotion , and I saw his eyes travel the crowd, . . .

“He had only begun to show His love. Peter found that out.
I can only imagine how heartbroken he was, sitting in that boat a few days later, tormenting himself over denying Jesus. Then he spotted a man standing on the shore.
‘It’s the Lord!”
he heard John exclaim–and yet he didn’t flee.
Instead , he plunged into the water and began to swim toward Him for all he was worth. Because Peter knew–
that no matter how bad he had messed up,
he would be forgiven, he would be loved . . .

“My prayer for all of you this Easter
is that the next time you’re feeling like running away–
you dive into the water instead–
and that you love each other like Jesus loves us.
Love like you’ve never been hurt before.”