20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Rather than quote a verse or two each day as the Story unfolds I want to keep the Story as a whole and keep adding to it so that the flow and context are not lost. There are many theories shared around the Internet about what Peter found in the tomb. None of them can be substantiated by history/culture/Jewish practices etc... and all of them miss the importance of what it meant for Peter, John and the two Marys.
Mary had logically but falsely assumed the body of Jesus had been stolen. John had peered into the tomb and found the burial cloths lying there. The sight shocked him and he hesitated. In that moment of hesitation Peter arrived and pushed past him to see what it was that had clearly startled John. Entering the tomb Peter didn't just find the burial cloths. He also found the handkerchief used to cover His face neatly folded. The message was clear and unmistakable. Jesus' body was not stolen. Had it been stolen the cloths and the handkerchief would still be on Him. Thieves are in a hurry. Thieves don't waste time doing anything that doesn't need to be done.
Remember Lazarus? Jesus called him from the tomb. He came out barely able to move and Jesus said "Loose him and let him go."
The folded cloth that had been over the face of Jesus was a message. "I Am alive!" To fold a cloth is a deliberate act. There was no rush, no theft, no scuffle, and no mess. Everything was orderly and planned. Jesus was in full control. Free of the cloths that bound Him meant He was free of the death that held Him. He was free of the tomb that had sealed Him in. He was free of the soldiers that guarded Him. He was so free and so in control that He could take the time to fold the cloth that had covered His breathless, lifeless face and leave it behind as a witness to anyone seeking Him "I Am alive!!!"
So clear was the message that John simply writes "Then the other disciple... entered also and saw and believed." Just one look at the neatly folded cloth and they knew He was alive.
Lesson: Those who seek Him find all the evidence they need to know that He is alive and well even when they can't literally see Him.