The Folded Handkerchief

Jay Launius The Resurrection

by Jay Launius (Maud Church of Christ – Maud, Texas)

It was the first day of the week and three days had passed since the execution of Jesus on the cross at Golgotha. Before daybreak, Mary Magdalene and the other women went to the tomb to anoint His body. But as they arrived at the place, they discovered an empty tomb. Worried that someone had taken the body, they ran to tell Peter and the other disciples. Peter and John ran to the grave, John arriving first and then Peter. The bible says, “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.” (John 20:6–7)

Yes, the Savior was risen and was no longer in the tomb! However, according to a traditional view of the passage, the folded cloth held a deeper meaning which would be unknown to those of us unschooled in ancient Jewish tradition. In those days, if a person excused himself from the table leaving his napkin folded, it indicated that he would return to the place. Those who adhere to this view say that this was an indication that Jesus was giving a sign that He would return someday. Regardless of whether you take this view or not, there are two undeniable truths. Jesus rose from the dead and He will return someday. (Rom. 14:9; Matt. 24:30)

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