The Carpenter’s Cloth

Daily Bible Reading – John 19-21

Today’s Key Passage – John 20:1-8


In his book The Carpenter’s Cloth, Sigmund Brouwer discusses the significance of today’s key passage.  When I first read the explanation Mr. Brouwer has in his book, I was immediately moved, so I want to share with you an excerpt from his book:

During Jesus’ time there was one way a carpenter let the contractor know a job was finished. A signature, so to speak.

Imagine a hot afternoon in Galilee. Jesus has completed the final pieces of a job he has worked on for several days. The hair of his strong forearms is matted with sawdust and sweat. His face is shiny with heat. He takes a final—and welcome—drink of cool water from a leather bag.

Then standing to the side of his work, he pours water over his face and chest, splashing it over his arms to clean himself before his journey home. With a nearby towel, he pats his face and arms dry.

Finally, Jesus folds the towel neatly in half, and then folds it in half again. He sets it on the finished work and walks away. Later, whoever arrives to inspect the work will see the towel and understand its simple message. The work is finished.

Christ’s disciples, of course, knew this carpenter’s tradition. On a Sunday of sorrow, three years after Jesus had set aside his carpenter tools, Peter will crouch to look into an empty tomb and see only the linens that the risen Lord has left behind.

A smile will cross Peter’s face as his sorrow is replaced by hope, for he will see the wrap that had covered Jesus’ face. It has been folded in half, then folded in half again and left neatly on the floor of the tomb.

Peter understands. The carpenter has left behind a simple message.

It is finished.

Copyright(c) 1997. Published by Word Publishing, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.
Excerpted from The Carpenter’s Cloth by Sigmund Brouwer.
Copyright(c) 1997 by Sigmund Brouwer. Page 125. Used by permission of J. Countryman.

The folded cloth described in John’s Gospel sent a compelling message of hope to the disciples and sends a compelling message of hope to all of us.  So many times, we all wonder if we are doing enough.  We wonder if we are good enough.  We wonder if we really deserve the salvation offered to us by Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.  The fact is that Christ’s message to us is a simple one – it is finished.  His work is done.  We are saved by grace.  Thank you Jesus for saving us.   Thank you for finishing your work here.  Thank you for your grace, mercy, and love.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.


Posted on December 24, 2014, in 04 - John and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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