There, on top of my dresser sits painting a friend painted years ago in return for a favor. It depicts an open empty tomb and a light beam shining on Christ’s burial cloths. Today, as I passed the picture, the sight of the burial cloth struck me and reminded me of the cloths that Mary used when she wrapped Jesus up after His birth.
I couldn’t help but ponder the connection between the two types of linen.
Christ inserted Himself into this fallen world, making Himself a servant and in many ways dependent on His own creation. After His birth as well as after His death, Jesus was cold and in need of being wrapped. He did not let this dependency constrain Him, but showed us what perfect love should look like. We, too (from the moment we come into the world, to the very moment we breathe our last) are dependent on others and on God.
Christ was not only an example to us in His submission to creation, but also showed us His mighty and amazing power when He laid down His burial cloths and overcame death.
Jesus did all of this so that we, though weak and wrapped in the passions of this earth, could be set free. He showed us that we are not destined to stay enslaved and dependent on the ways of this world, but are meant to live with the hope of Heaven, freed from that which has us all wrapped up.
“Thank You Lord, for showing us how to live,
as we are still bound by this earth.
Help us to know that no matter our constrains,
You have overcome this world,
and have shown us a way to the Father.”
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no guest room available for them.
Then he took it down,
wrapped it in linen cloth
and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock,
one in which no one had yet been laid.
(Words and pictures by Heidi Viars, 2014)