Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
God Removed the Body
When Peter and John heard Mary
Magdalene say, “They have taken away the Lord out of
the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid
Him,” they took off running to the tomb of Jesus
leaving Mary far behind (John 20:2-3).
They ran together for a
distance and then John outran Peter and came to the
tomb first (v. 4). The huge stone covering the
entrance to the tomb had been rolled away. John did
not enter the tomb, but just stood there outside the
entranceway. He was stooping and looking in, and “he
saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the
face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying
with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place
by itself” (vv. 5-8).
John bent over to get a better
look inside the tomb. When Peter arrived a little
later, he did not hesitate, but went straight into
The apostle John repeats the
thing that made for him the convincing proof that
Christ had risen from the dead. The head wrapping
that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head was lying
there in its proper place, by itself, still rolled
up, twirled round and about like a turban as if the
head were still inside. John saw this convincing
proof and believed (v. 8).
There were no signs of a hasty
grave robber removing the body, or someone running
with the body in fear of discovery. It was an
orderly scene, not one of wild confusion. They could
not have left the clothes wrapped up neatly just as
they had been around a dead body. Grave robbers
would have taken the body, cloths and all, or would
have stripped the body and left the clothes piled up
on the floor.
John noted that the linen
clothes that had been tightly wrapped around the
Lord’s head with the sweet fragrance and sticky
myrrh which glued the linen to the body were still
right where they had been around the head of Jesus
when Nicodemus and Joseph had buried Him on Friday
afternoon. Nothing was disturbed.
Peter stood there looking and
looking at these undisturbed grave clothes on the
stone slab. It was astounding and he looked in a
prolonged gaze, scrutinizing the wrappings.
John then entered in with Peter
and “saw and believed” (v. 8). John saw the same
evidence and perceived to the point of believing
that Jesus was alive, risen form the dead. It was a
miracle, something utterly impossible unless God
intervened and did it. That was the moment John
believed Jesus had risen from the dead.
John saw with more than just
physical sight. He perceived with keen understanding
and believed. John lets us know that while all of
the disciples who saw the risen Lord believed, he
was the first to believe even before he actually saw
Jesus alive in His resurrection body.
Why did he come to that
conclusion? The head wrappings were rolled up, lying
there in their original convolutions, just as they
had been tightly wrapped in a winding manner around
the Lord’s dead body. Late Friday afternoon
Nicodemus and Joseph “took the body of Jesus, and
bound it in linen wrappings with spices, as is the
burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:40). Nothing was
disturbed! The long linen wrappings had been so
tightly wound about the body and the head that they
lay there undisturbed.
The body of Jesus had changed
into a resurrection body and passed right up out of
those wrappings without disturbing them. The
condition of these wrappings gave evidence that
Christ had passed out of them without anyone having
to unwrap Him and release Him. The grave wrappings
were left behind intact, but empty. Christ had
passed right out of them. His resurrection body was
something new, different and wonderful, like the
glorified bodies of Moses and Elijah on Mount
Transfiguration (Matt. 17:2-3).
With a hundred pounds (Jn.
19:39) of that sticky spices and gum resins no one
would have been able to unwrap the body and put the
wrappings back in their original form.
By deliberate design God had
removed the body! Jesus was alive. He was
resurrected. The body of Jesus had left the grave
clothes just as they had rested around Him. He had
simply risen out of them by the power of God just as
He would later the same day enter and leave locked
rooms without breaking doors down (vv. 19, 26).
The linen grave clothes
subsided when the body of Jesus was removed because
of the weight of the spices wound into them. The
head cloth probably retained the concave shape
twirled about the face. Only God could remove the
body and leave the grave cloths as the eyewitness
saw them. Jesus had risen in a glorified
John examined the sufficient
evidence and concluded Jesus is alive. What
conclusion do you draw after having seen the same
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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