My Pastor sent this to me this morning and I was so touched that I had to share with you all. I had never heard the reason for this before and it is so significant!
Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection? I never noticed this....
The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.
The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin. Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.
Was that important? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!
In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.
The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.
Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.
The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm finished.." But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because..........
The folded napkin meant,
"I'm coming back!"
AND SO HE SHALL!
I love this account! That is why knowing the Old Testament is important as we learn to think in Hebrew instead of western culture. I remember when I did my 2 year study to become a Bible Teacher that our teacher kept emphasizing that we think in Hebrew. That is because he wanted us to be very familiar with the the old customs and traditions of the Jewish people so that we would understand their behavior and the old laws before Jesus set us free! It is just like tracing our roots for a family tree. We need to understand where the people of Jesus time were coming from in their beliefs and traditions. It helps us to understand why the Jewish people did not think Jesus was the Messiah. They are still waiting. Rejoice, we do not have to wait any longer!!
My Christian heart to yours...