April 10, 2020by Reverend Dan on April 10, 2020
38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
It is quiet now, and they move the cart with His body slowly toward the tomb.
So much has happened in the last 24 hours. They have heard about the strange words Jesus said at the Passover meal; they knew about how he went to Gethsemane to pray and what happened there; they knew about what happened with Judas; about Peter denying even knowing Him.
They have seen the trial - such as it was - and witnessed the humiliation and the flogging and the mocking and the climb up Golgotha, and that man helping him, and the spikes being driven, and the cross being raised . . .
They have heard the cries from the cross and the thief who begged mercy; they have seen the crown of thorns and the vinegar-soaked sponge and the sword; they have heard about the temple curtain . . .
And they have seen the tears and heard the cries of Mary and the other women. And even they, with their faces turned away, have felt the bitter sting of tears on their cheeks as well. And they all knew . . . because He was gone, they knew their world would never be the same.
With great effort, they pick the body up and lay it in the tomb. Then what seems like an army of men roll the heavy stone in front of the tomb, knowing it could never be moved again now that it was in place. And they simply stare at that great stone and think about who it keeps from them.
Slowly they turn their backs to the tomb and begin to walk away. He is gone now, and their world will never be the same.
They don’t know how right there are . . .
"Father, Help us to understand, in our hearts, the true meaning of this week. In Jesus' name, AMEN."