The Binding of the Burial Cloth
We have heard before that the three nails that fastened Jesus Christ to the Cross are our “foolishness, jealousy and pride”. But the reality of Christ and the power of God’s life are often restricted by our ignorance. Just as Cleopas and his companion did not know that the Lord had resurrected, but thought that He was still bound by burial cloth as would a dead person. Although Christ personally walked with them on the road and explained the Scripture to them, they were blithely unaware. The ignorance of men towards the Lord and spiritual matters is like the binding of a living person by burial cloth. From chapter 24 of the Gospel of Luke, we see that even the children of God can easily submit to four kinds of bindings:
“He is not here; He is risen. Remember how He told you, while He was still with
2. Disbelief – “But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (v. 11) The first people to witness the appearance of the angels and hear the news of the Lord’s resurrection were the women who went to the grave early in the morning. They brought that message joyfully back to the apostles, but the apostles did not believe their testimony. The Lord does not often appear to people personally, but prefers to use those Christians who are born-again to manifest the work of God’s great power through their testimonies. Regrettably, few put to mind the real testimonies of those who have experienced the Lord as inspiration for their self-encouragement when they travel the heavenly road. “The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.” (John 19:35)
3. Confusion – “But they were kept from recognizing Him.” (v. 16) Cleopas and his companion did not comprehend God’s plan of salvation. They were distressed by the death of Christ, so the Lord came near personally and explained the Scripture to them so that they would understand. Some Christians have been believers for many years yet have not read the whole Bible through once. It’s no wonder that they have no spiritual insight and lack knowledge of the Lord. Spiritual confusion can cause one to stumble and fail, and to merely recognize the benefits of this life and the temporary satisfactions of the flesh, and overlook more valuable and eternal things.
4. Foolishness – “Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!’” (v. 25) If one is concerned only with the development of a personal career in this life, neglect the needs of others, and disregard eternal things, then that is foolishness. If one has been a believer for many years, listens to the word but does not follow it, then that is foolishness. After listening to the word, we must combine what we have heard with faith before it can generate the effectiveness of the Gospel (Hebrews 4:2), so that we can become witnesses suitable for God’s use.
Dear brothers and sisters, we must contemplate God’s Word often, take the Lord’s truth into our hearts, listen to and follow the word, and live by trust in God’s promises. Then we will not submit to the above four kinds of bindings.