Vestiges of Pre-resurrection Life

Amy Clemens

Read: John 20:1-10

And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there (vv. 5-6).

Pause a moment to consider the symbolism of not just an empty tomb, but empty grave clothes, set aside like a worn-out tent, vestiges of pre-resurrection life. The only thing missing is Jesus.

What dignity for us that he keeps the fragile flesh of incarnation and crucifixion, nail prints and all, even in his glorified, resurrected body. He could have arisen in spirit and left flesh lying there, but he didn’t. As C. S. Lewis so poignantly puts it in Mere Christianity, the world finally saw what true life looks like: the human and divine so intertwined that when one is killed, the other brings life back. “For the first time we saw a real man,” says Lewis, “. . . fully and splendidly alive.”

As Christ-followers walking this Lenten journey, what remnants of pre-resurrection life might we leave behind? What habits, fears, and attitudes remind us of what one translator calls “grave-tending”? “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Rom. 8:15 Message). —Amy Clemens

Prayer: I was once only flesh, Creator God, but in Christ you showed me what it means to be fully alive, not disdaining my flesh, but allowing it to be intertwined by the life of your Spirit. I praise you for you have dignified your creation again in birth, death, and resurrection.