Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Carpenter’s Cloth – Sigmund Brouwer

This small book, subtitled Christ’s Journey to the Cross and Beyond, caught my eye because I had been reading S. W. Brouwer’s fiction. It is a small, gift style volume presented early on from the J. Countryman imprint of Word Publishing (about the time they were bought out by Thomas Nelson).

The book details Jesus’ final days, including the burial and resurrection, by focusing on key persons and events surrounding Christ’s Passion. The detail that jumps out is the treatment of the title element – the carpenter’s cloth. According to the tradition examined by the book, when a carpenter of the first century completed the job he was commissioned to do, he would fold his personal cloth neatly and place it in the corner of the room, thus signifying to the owner of the house that the job was complete.

This understanding of culture and custom gives new meaning to the positioning of the grave clothes and the face cloth as disciples ran to and entered Christ’s empty tomb. I recommend this reading for pleasure or devotional purposes.

—Benjamin Potter, March 2007

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