8. The Folded Facecloth


John 20:1-9. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them. They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
So they ran together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.
And the napkin, that was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that He must rise from the dead.

The above verses are from the King James Bible. The New King James Bible has the word handkerchief (or face cloth as a footnote) instead. The term face cloth best suits the description of the burial clothes as it was the last item placed over the face of the dead person.

Our Hebraic and Jewish Roots teaching is so very important to us. For far too long the Church or Messianic Community has been leavened with Hellenistic and not Hebraic influences. Such is the case that today we have more philosophical and psychological teaching permeating the minds of believers than good exposition from the Scriptures. We should note the difference between Hebraic and Jewish root insights. Hebraic is sound theology, the study of God’s Word and Jewish roots teaching is cultural, showing customs that give insights such as this little gem here.

When a person went to a carpenter (first analogy) to have a plough or table or whatever made, the purchaser could look through the door of the workshop to see how things were progressing. The cultural sign of the day that ‘it is finished’ (second analogy) was to see a folded napkin lying next to your item! Your carpenter was giving you a visible sign that the work was finished. He had washed his hands and placed the cloth next to the finished work. How different to that of Pilate who also washed his hands and put aside the napkin cloth!

In other words our Lord Y’shua (Jesus) was saying again symbolically what He shouted out from the Cross – ‘It is finished.’ (G-d’s redeeming work of salvation for Jew and Gentile was finished ‘once and for all’ through His precious royal shed blood).

What we can clearly see now is evidence of a physical and spiritual resurrection, for our Messiah rose and removed the napkin or facecloth and folded it placing it to one side of the other burial clothes. A spirit cannot touch something physical and fold it! Nor can a spirit allow itself to be held on to or then cook a breakfast for others by the shore as we read in the Gospel narrative after His resurrection! This is a lesson for doubters to meditate over and then repent! For Yeshua clearly had a physical spiritual resurrection body and yet some teach that it was only a spiritual resurrection! Just as some teach that there was no virgin birth!
What foolishness that some should teach otherwise when they know not what they speak of when the scriptures show the truth of these things. What foolishness also to boast against the natural branches as the Apostle Paul teaches us not to in Romans 11:18.
How important is it then that we look to our Jewish brothers in the faith to gleam golden nuggets of joy to our souls.
To them belong the covenants, the service of G-d and the promises. All Israel will fully enjoy the promises of G-d in the days ahead as it is written!

From the Cross (execution stake) and from the sepulchre (the grave) He has given us a twofold witness to the fact that redemption’s work is finished. He is risen! All hail the Lamb!

How wonderful that the carpenter from Nazareth lived and died as the Son of Man. He tasted death for us, the greatest and most uncertain moment of any human life. Yet He rose to prove there is life after death; if only we would all come to Him as the only way of salvation for all mankind just as it is written.

If you would care to read John 3:3; 3:16, 14:6 and Acts 4:12 these verses confirm this fact. Who has disproved it? His enemies are all in the grave and He is alive, seated on high, reigning and ruling for evermore. This is why all true believers can rejoice. We have a risen Saviour who has conquered death, sin, satan and hell. Halleluyah.

Date : 30/11/-0001    

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