I learned of the undisturbed grave cloths and of how Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes and Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea wrapped the body of Jesus, then he hastened home because it was dusk. Incidentally, myrrh was worth its weight in gold, being an extremely expensive item, and the fact that Nicodemus had so much and used so much, meant that Jesus was not only buried by a rich man but buried AS a rich man. Regarding the wrapping of the body, I had overlooked that portion of the story, focusing more on Mary’s arrival at dawn after the Sabbath. I searched the Bible to see where the verses were that describe this wrapping of Jesus’ body so I could ponder more. Here is what I found:
“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 both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, 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 again from the dead.”
Here is what they saw:
“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”
After washing and straightening the body, they would wrap the body in strips of cloth and at each layer would apply the myrrh and aloe until the body was completely wrapped. The myrrh and aloe hardened into a shellac-like substance making a hard encasement out of the wrappings. The head and face would not be wrapped but instead, an embroidered kerchief would be placed over the head.
John at the entrance to the tomb saw the cloths lying undisturbed with no kerchief over the face. The Greek word blepo for this first use of ‘saw’ means simply to look at. Then Peter arrived and went inside the tomb and ‘saw’. It is not the same word, it is theóreó from which we get theory. Peter ‘saw’ and perceived. Then John came inside the tomb, saw and believed. This third use of the word ‘saw’ is eidó, see and comprehend.
John saw a hard case of the cloths in the shape of a man’s body with no body inside!! Like a cocoon, it had not cracked nor had been broken yet indisputably there was no person inside. Further, the head kerchief had been carefully rolled up and placed aside.
He is not here! He is risen!
Do you believe?