Saturday, April 15, 2017

Did He Not Tell Us?

Eugene Burnand

Peter and John rush to the tomb! They have just been told by Mary Magdalene that the stone was taken away.  
"So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 
'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.'
 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.  Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead."  John 20:2-9
John, the evangelist, the one whom Jesus loved, is the disciple who is with Peter, now inside of the empty tomb, contemplating what is before them: the strips of cloth on the ground, the shroud folded and arranged, set aside.  
This expensive material had been purchased by the wealthy Joseph. Nicodemus and Joseph wrapped the linens around the head of Christ and enveloped His body for entombment, which was according to Jewish burial custom.  John 19:38-42 
John confesses here that it was at this moment that he believed; without question, but not before having seen the empty tomb and this array of cloths inexplicably arranged neatly and set aside.  Scripture has all one needs for belief; but we have not understood it, that He must actually do what He told us He would do: Rise from the dead!  We have not conceived of this great mystery, this Jesus conquering over suffering, and now even death.   
But, did He not tell us He has the power to take up His life again?
"For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”  John 10:17-18

Peter Paul Rubens




Commentary: © Angelina Lenahan

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