Grave Clothes or Angels in White

Peter and John looked into the tomb of Jesus and saw only the linen clothes lying, the wrappings of death. Mary looked into that same tomb and though her sight was bleared with weeping she saw what they had not seen — two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Those angels were heavenly messengers clothed in the habiliments of victory in what was once the stronghold of the defeated foe. The men believed that the grave was empty of their Lord and returned with amazement to their home. The woman stood still, unable to leave that spot, and though equally amazed she saw further than the men, and she learned that heaven had something to say in the matter of that tomb. And then turning about she came face to face with Jesus her Lord, alive from the dead. She saw the angels within the tomb and Jesus without it. These great facts have often spoken to us, let them be as a parable to us today. How do we view things? Nothing could be to us as dark as was that grave to Mary and to John and Peter, for in their ignorance and unbelief it was the death of all their best hopes, and yet things have happened to us that filled us with amazement and perhaps fear, and made our way dark because of doubts and questionings.

There are many graves along the road that we have travelled. In some of them lie buried our cherished joys, hopes, desires, ambitions. As we look into these graves, if we do look into them, what do we see? Do we only see the grave clothes, things that speak of death, and the last and utmost that we can do? Do we only see darkness, as though the grave was the terminus, the end of every hope and of all things? Is it to us nothing but disappointment and mystery? Or can we discern angels in white sitting? Angels from the other side, lighting up the tomb with a heavenly radiance and showing us that through those graves and apparent defeats that have meant so much sorrow to us there lies for us the way of victory and blessing?

Let us dwell for a while on this. Consider the difference between grave clothes and angels in white, and pray for eye-salve that we may see this light in the darkness and heavenly blessing that could only reach us through the sorrow. Then turn and come face to face with Jesus, your Saviour and Lord. He has triumphed over death and can be more to you than all that you have buried in those sad tombs. He is infinitely more than all that you can lose in this life, and He knows you by name, and can address you in such a way that your sorrow will give place to rest. Then He can send you from the scene of your sorrow with a message of light and gladness to others. This He did in Mary's case and He can do it for you.