January 27, 2021

Stations of the Cross: The Fourteenth Station

A Series for Holy Week.
Thanks to Jeff Dunn for leading us in these meditations.

Jesus is laid in the tomb


There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.

The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.

Luke 23: 50-56, The Message

Some dignity is being restored to the dead body of Jesus. A linen shroud to hide the horrible disfigurement done by crucifixion. Perfume and spices to hide the stench of death. A new tomb, not one where Jesus’ body would be stacked on top of others.

But what does it really matter in the end? The one we thought would bring us a new life is dead. And as his body is placed in the tomb, our hope is buried with it.

It’s all over. We now must turn back and try to put our lives together the best we can. Roll the stone over the entrance. There is nothing left to do.

Imagine how the followers of Jesus felt as the sun set to announce the start of the Sabbath. Their hopes are buried. Nothing good is yet to come. They have given up families, houses, careers to follow Jesus. And now…and now…How would you feel on this approaching Sabbath when the one you followed was dead and never coming back? Was there any hope they could cling to?

Jesus, we look at this now in the light of the resurrection. But your followers at the time of the crucifixion didn’t have that luxury. Yes, you had told them all about how you would rise again, but they didn’t seem to get it, so was that really of any comfort to them? At times, we feel like our situations are hopeless. Help us to know that our hope is not in things, in occurrences, but in you alone.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

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