AN ORDERLY EXIT
“Then Simon Peter came, following him (John), and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth (σουδάριον) that had been on his (Jesus’) head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed…” (Jn 20: 6-8)
What is it that John “saw” in the tomb that made him “believe” in Christ’s resurrection? It was the linen wrappings, lying in one place, and the cloth (σουδάριον), not only lying separately, but neatly “rolled up.” What had transpired here had involved no haste or chaos. Nor was it done either by irreverent thieves or ardent followers. Because thieves, having stripped Christ’s Body, would not have carefully set aside the cloth, while devout followers would not have carried His Body away naked. What John “saw and believed” was evidence of the Lord’s majestic exit from the tomb; He had left the darkness of the tomb in full control, “clothed in majesty” and leaving order behind, as Lord over chaos and death.
On this Sunday, the day of His resurrection, I ask that He bring His order into my often disorderly thoughts, actions, and words. Let His grace be in full control today, bringing light and order where previously there was darkness and chaos. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (Jn 1: 5)