|“Then Simon Peter… arrived and went into |
the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying
there, as well as the burial cloth that had
been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was
folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”
Vacuum cleaner put away. Dishes washed up from the sink. Good silver polished and back in the silver chest ready to be placed when I set the table. Done. I had finished the Easter dinner preparations. Anyone seeing a “before” and “after” picture of the house could tell.
Imagine a hot afternoon in Galilee. Jesus has completed the final pieces of a job he has worked on for several days. The hair of his strong forearms is matted with sawdust and sweat. His face is shiny with heat. He takes a final—and welcomed—drink of cool water from a leather bag.
Then, standing to the side of his work, he pours water over his face and chest, splashing it over his arms to clean himself before his journey home. With a nearby towel, he pats his face and arms dry.
Finally, Jesus folds the towel neatly in half, and then folds it in half again. He sets it on the finished work and walks away. Later, whoever arrives to inspect the work will see the towel and understand its simple message. The work is finished. 1
When Peter came to the tomb on that Resurrection Sunday and saw the folded linens, he must have realized the symbolic meaning of them. Jesus, the Carpenter of Nazareth, had left behind a very clear message: His work was finished.
Jesus knew the work that God had given Him to do. Though more difficult than any of us will ever know, He, out of obedience to His Father in heaven, took on the task. He gave His blood for us, hopeless sinners, so that He might claim us as those He had redeemed. His work was completed.
What a victory! Christ’s death, looking like He had forever been conquered, instead resulted in the greatest turnaround in history. God broke the bars of death and Jesus came out of the tomb to eternally offer life to all who believe. Indeed, the work of salvation has come to all who believe. His work is finished!
|1 Brouwer, Sigmund, The Carpenter’s Journey. Nashville: Countryman/Thomas Nelson, 1997. pp. 120-121.|