The Dead Speak

Isaiah 25:6–9; Psalm 118:1–2, 14–24; John 20:1–18

The stone. We always talk about the stone on . There was no question it was a big stone so that it was moved without human intervention was a big deal. As much as the stone is represented simply, it isn’t simple.

Mary ran back to inform the disciples. Peter and John raced to the tomb. John entered first, but it is not like simply walking through a doorway. There were actually some gymnastics involved. Whether there was actually light coming from the outside (some of the ancient tombs were not configured that way) or if John and Peter brought a lamp isn’t important. However light made it in, there was light to see.

There are two mentions of cloths. The first refers to the wrappings that were around the body. Bluntly, a grave-robber is not going to leave them behind, for often the wrappings were what contained the expensive spices, and grave-robbing is not the kind of thing where one carefully removes the wrappings and leaves them.

The other cloth, though, was folded. There is no hurry to leave here. There is care implied with the folding (or rolling) of the cloth. Some commentators interpret this as if Jesus had “left the table” with plans to return (referring to the Second Coming). The facecloth was usually used to tie closed the jaw of the deceased.

It might be reading too much into it, but bear with me. Sin and death had closed the mouth of God. Sin and death and silenced the Word of God. The Son of God removed the cloth. The mouth of God was opened. The Word of God was released to change the world.

Christ has died! Christ has Risen! Christ will come again!


O God, who for our redemption gave your only begotten Son to die upon the Cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the devil and the power of death: Grant us grace to die daily to sin, that we may live with him in the joy of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. [ Collect, Book of Common Prayer 2019]
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