Summary: The grave clothes provide significant confirmation of the fact that Jesus had risen from the grave.
The garments in the grave.
John 20: 3 -- 8. 08/20/03
A few years ago the spokesman for the American atheists Inc. entered into a debate with William Craig a Christian with a Ph.D. in theology. Their debate was in front of around 8000 people and with over 100 radio stations broadcasting the event. During the debate people were amazed that Christianity could stand up to such rugged scrutiny .
In the end it was no contest . Among those who had entered the auditorium that evening were avowed atheist, agnostics , skeptics , an overwhelming 82 percent concluded that the case for Christianity had been most compelling . Also , 47 people came to Jesus and nobody became an atheist.
What was so compelling ? What did William Craig say that turned so many people to Jesus ? What evidence was given for the resurrection of Jesus?
William Craig defended the resurrection with common since. William Craig saw that the only thing that makes since after looking at all the evidence for and against the resurrection is, that Jesus is alive.
I don’t know that you have spent much time in thinking about the grave clothes in the tomb but they really show some interesting things. These grave clothes provide significant confirmation of the fact that Jesus had risen from the grave.
In Matthew, the angel told the women who came to the tomb, “ come , see the place where the Lord lay. “ There, they would see the grave clothes which would give proof of the fact of the resurrection.
Now let’s note the particulars of the proof.
There were two main conclusions being reported that first Easter Sunday morning as to why the tomb was empty. One report said that the body of Jesus had been stolen. The other report said that Jesus had risen from the grave. Listen, the presence of the grave clothes made it plain that his body had not been stolen.
Now we are searching for proof of the resurrection of Jesus and I believe the grave clothes give us that proof. You see, it was custom of the Jews in those days to wrap up the corpse in literally yards of linen mixed with spices. It would be a time-consuming job to remove the grave clothes. Thieves would never take the time to do something like that and also friends would treat the body with respect and would never unwrap the body to be moved. If friends also had unwrapped the body and stole it, they would still have to move by the guards without being seen.
Still probably the best proof that no one stole the body was because of the condition of the grave clothes. Peter found the grave clothes in a very neat and tidy order. What they saw was the grave clothes were still in the same condition and arrangement they were when on Jesus.The condition of the grave clothes in that tomb after the resurrection was like something wrapped around a balloon and then the air let out of the balloon. In the resurrection , Jesus simply went through his grave clothes as he did through shut doors . The clothes then just settled in place. It would be impossible to arrange sticky cloth in such a manner. No thief would take the time to do so.
We see not only the particulars of the proof but also the perception of the proof.
The Bible tells us that Peter and the other disciple ran toward the tomb. Even though John was a faster runner than Peter, John stopped at the tomb opening. The Bible says he saw the grave clothes inside. The saw means to see something in a casual manner. Sort of like looking at my watch and seeing the time .
Then came Peter who let up enough in his running to get between the walls. The Bible says he seeth. That means that he scrutinized the clothes. Like looking at your watch not just as a casual glance but studying the cloth for clues. Then in came John. The Bible says that he saw and believed. The grave clothes proved that Jesus had resurrected .
I could not help but think about the different perceptions of Peter and John relate to people in the congregation. Some, in regarding the word of God never get past the casual or common perception of the word. Most of them never see anything that is applicable . they have little appreciation for the word of God.
Still others seem more interested and study and pray . We should never be satisfied with our pursuit of the word of God . We want to comprehend and apply the word of God to our lives . Then we become a better witness .
Many years ago the angel moved the stone at the garden tomb to reveal an empty tomb and a risen Lord . It seems ever since , man has been trying to roll that stone back .