Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Cave is Empty

The greatest fear amongst the Romans was the followers of Jesus would raid the tomb and steal His body, claiming Jesus rose from the dead.  A story like this would never die and a revolution could threaten the empire.

Nobody messed with the Roman soldiers.  They conquered the world.  Jesus was a different kind of foe. They feared Him because He had a strange way about attracting others and inspiring them to change.

Imagine what those soldiers were thinking when an earthquake caused the stone sealing the tomb to roll away. They were there to keep the body inside the cave and they knew Jesus promised to rise again on the third day.

Jesus left behind an important clue about coming back.  Before He left the tomb, He took the time to fold the cloth covering His head.  Why?

In order to understand the significance of the folded cloth,  we need to understand Hebrew tradition. The folded napkin is a signal between a Master and his Servant.  A servant's job was to set the table exactly the way his master wanted it. Once the table was set, the servant would wait until his master had finished eating.

When the master was done eating, he would stand up, wipe his fingers, his mouth and clean his beard. The master would toss the wadded up cloth on the table, signaling it was time to clear the table. The wadded napkin was a clear message, saying, "I'm done."

However, if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin, and laid it next to his plate, the servant would leave the table untouched. The folded cloth notified the servant, "I'm not finished yet. I'm coming back!"

Today the cave is empty and the folded cloth is all that remains.  He is Risen and He will come back!


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