Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Easter Speech

Left Behind

Will II in his Resurrection Day outfit 

John 20 (NKJV)
The Empty Tomb
Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 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.

While ministering in a local women’s prison with my mother, I was intrigued by the jumpsuits that the women had to wear. Every woman wore an overly baggy all white jump suit. The significance of the color and size of the suits was not only to identify them as prisoners but to also restrict easy movement. As a mater of fact, we were told not to wear the same color as the inmates so that we could be identified as different.

The bible says that the next morning when Mary Magadalene returned to the tomb where Jesus was placed – it was empty!

When Peter and the other disciple went to the same tomb, they also discovered that Jesus was missing. However, His burial cloth and the handkerchief that covered His head remained.

Here We Go!

The burial shroud was typically white or off-white linen used to wrap the body. I believe the handkerchief that was neatly folded acted as a veil. Some theologians believe the reason the handkerchief covering His face was folded was to represent the relationship of master to servant. When the master left his dinner napkin folded it meant he was coming back. As in Jesus is coming back again some day. The grave could not hold Him. If he tossed it on the table it meant I am finished. Other theologians counter that theory by saying the reason it was folded was to say that no one stole the body of Jesus. He leisurely left the tomb and had time to fold his handkerchief.

Either way, I believe HE GOT UP and left his unnecessary linens behind.

Just as Jesus left his white burial linens that served to restrict him while in the grave and the veil that masked his face – we too must remove those items that have been holding us in the grave and the masks we are hiding behind. Granted, the clothing did not hold Jesus, it represented bondage and death. Lazarus got up still wearing his burial garments. Jesus got up and left them all behind.

When those women leave prison, it is my prayer that they leave their white robes of bondage behind never to see them again. I also pray that you take off your grave clothes and burial mask. I also charge you to walk out of your death like situation living a resurrected life!