Recently I went to an apologetics conference and the one topic was on the resurrection of Christ. In the King James Version I was always under the impression that His grave clothes were folded neatly but at the conference that they version used (NASB) made it sound like the clothes were still in body form. What does the original translation say compared to this?
Sometimes the original helps us to better understand what is being described or pictured. In this case, it does not seem to shed any more light on the shape of the grave clothes upon the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
What did Peter and John see when they looked into the empty sepulcher? (John 20:6-8). The head cloth and the body clothes are slightly separated. Were the clothes nicely folded up? That is possible, and then the picture we get is that the place where death reigned has been transformed into a bedroom—a tidied bedroom. And it is true of God’s people when it comes time to die that they may, like Stephen, fall asleep in Jesus.
But it is also possible that Peter and John saw something else. After all, these clothes were heavily treated with ointment. And it is more likely that these clothes soaked in these oils are still in the shape of a body, like the cocoon of a caterpillar. The grave clothes are still there, in the shape of the body of the Lord Jesus, but the Lord Jesus is not there anymore. After all, He is risen, and we are invited to look by faith the place where He lay. That is the secret: looking with the eye of faith to see Him who was dead and is alive again, having conquered death, hell and the grave. Seeing Him by faith should lead to awe and worship!