As we consider the experience and ramifications of Jesus’s death on the cross, let us meditate on the descent of Jesus’s body from that cross.
On the experience of his mother, Mary…
On the experience of his beloved disciple, John.
On the experience of Joseph of Arimathea, who offered his own tomb for Jesus’s burial.
On the experience of Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish Council, who brought one hundred pounds of spices to prepare Jesus’s body for burial.
As you contemplate this twelfth-century image of the first Holy Friday, put yourself in the place of each person you see. Feel what it must have been like to be her/him. Imagine the thoughts of each of the four grieving followers of Jesus. Rest with God in the shock, horror, uncertainty, and loss.
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. Luke 23:50-56 NRSV
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:38-42 NRSV
Other Blogs in this Series: