Friday, April 17, 2009

So what does the folded napkin mean?

Twenty years ago today, April 17th, hundreds of Chinese people marched into Tiananmen Square begging for freedom from the oppressive government. The government’s response was to run over them with tanks. As Americans, I think it is easy for us to take our freedom for granted. I know I certainly do. There might be many things wrong with our country, but there are also many things right. America is the land of the free!

My country allows me to be free and for that I will be forever grateful. But also my Savior allows me to be free. We just celebrated Easter, but really, what does that mean? What happened two thousand years ago in Jerusalem on those three days between Good Friday and Easter changed everything.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He did something quite interesting. He carefully folded the napkin that covered His face. The Gospel of John (20:1-11) tells us the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

When Simon Peter arrived at the tomb, he went inside and noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and placed at the head of the coffin.


In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, we need to understand Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant. When the master finished eating, he would wipe his face with the napkin and then wad it up and toss it on the table. The servant would know to clear the table because the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done."

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant wouldn’t touch the table, because..........The folded napkin meant, “I'm coming back!”

Jesus is Coming Back!

And we don’t need to be ashamed. He won’t run over us with His tank, so to speak. He doesn’t want to oppress us. He wants us to be free. We are freed from sin, freed from death, freed from punishment. We are free to live, free to laugh, free to smile. We are free to enter His throne room of GRACE, for that is where we belong.

Let’s enjoy the freedom our Lord has given us every day. It is a precious free gift, bought for us at His great cost.

Lots of Love,
Janelle Ashley

Don’t forget Wildflower in Bloom is available at It is an Easter story that can be enjoyed every day of the year.


Teri Wilson, Romancing the pet lover's soul said...

Janelle, Your post was so lovely it gave me goosebumps. And I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Wildflower in Bloom. It was fabulous! Well done.

Blessings, Teri

Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover's soul

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Such an interesting and lovely post, Janelle!

Amazing what little things Jesus did and does to assure us He is always near.

I'll never look at a napking the same way :-)