During a rather misspent childhood I have to confess to a period of my life when I regularly stole things that were not mine, sometimes from friends and sometimes from local shops near my boarding school. Fortunately for everyone my journey to faith and the sharpened conscience that resulted put an end to my days of stealing – not to mention being caught by my mum who was so cross it made a lasting impression!
But I still remember vividly that when I was about to steal something my greatest priority was to make sure I was not caught, and that meant getting in, taking what I wanted, and then getting out as fast as possible. Only once I was at a safe distance from the scene would I stop to unwrap what I had taken to see if it had been worth the risk.
Interesting to note then, that in John’s account of the resurrection of Jesus, he makes clear that the tomb was not empty. He records, ‘the strips of linen [were] lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head.’ So whatever else may have happened to Jesus’ body that day I think it’s safe to assume on thing at least: it wasn’t stolen.