A Glorious Uprising
For reading & meditation: Acts 13:16-41
"... 'You will not let your Holy One see decay.' " (v. 35)
We spend one more day considering the implications arising from the rolling away of the stone. What did that rolled-away stone reveal? Well, follow the women into the tomb. Its just a large hole hewn in a rock. What do you see? Just "the place where they laid him" (Mark 16:6
). All that was left were the graveclothes. Note that Peter saw "the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head" (John 20:6-7
). Some scholars say that the Greek words used to describe the head-cloth signify that it still had an annular shape - that it still indicated the outline of His head. Can you see what this suggests? He passed through it without it being unwound. This was no laborious unwinding! This was a glorious uprising! There was no possibility that the graveclothes could have looked the way they did without a resurrection. Had the head-cloth been torn apart, the impression gained would have been quite different. It was probably this simple but tremendous fact - the fact that Jesus had clearly passed through the shroud without it being unwound - that convinced the first observers they had witnessed the miracle of resurrection. Do you think of a tomb as being cold and eerie? That is not our Lord's tomb. No, it is quiet and calm. Our crucified God rested for hours and hours on a cool bed of rock. And to quote the poet Alice Meynell: All alone ... He rose again behind the stone.
O Jesus, You who are not an evader but a confronter of problems. You have faced everything I face including death. And yet You went through it, not around it. You conquered death by going through it, and now because I am in You I shall conquer it also. Amen.
For further study:
1. What did the women clasp?
2. What followed?