23 November 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 19:40-42 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
40 Together, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth, as is the Jewish burial custom. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:40-42 NLT)
What a sight to see Joseph and Nicodemus in their High Council robes out there on Skull Hill! It was late afternoon and they were hurrying to get Jesus’ body down from the cross because they needed to get him buried before Sabbath began at sunset. Joseph had come prepared, bringing a couple of servants with him to help. Together, they lowered the cross to the ground, and pried out the nails in Jesus’ wrists and ankles. They laid his body on the litter the servants had brought and the four of them walked the short distance to the nearby cemetery where Joseph had recently had a tomb cut out of the rock. The servants stooped to enter the tomb and lowered the litter to the floor beside the stone burial slab.
Joseph dismissed the servants, “Go home. I’ll be there in a little while.” Then, together, he and Nicodemus laid out the linen strips on the burial slab and, together, lovingly lifted Jesus’ body and began to wrap him, working together, spreading the ointment and spices on each layer of linen as they formed his burial shroud. Together.
“You’re a mess, Joe! Between the blood, the dirt, and the tears, you look like something out of a slasher flick!” “You think, Nick? Too bad you can’t see yourself right now! Did you ever think it’d come to this? He’s dead!” “I know. You remember him talking about resurrection? Remember I told you about my talk with him that night? He kept talking about eternal life.” “Yeah. You know we can’t do Passover now! Dead body. We’re unclean. What if the others in the council saw us now? What on earth would they think?!” “Joe, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more clean than I feel right now! He was right, Joe. It’s more than rules and rituals. We’ve both known that for a long time. I just hoped he was the one that would be able to change things.” “I don’t know, Nick. Maybe he will. Maybe he has. He changed me!” “You’re right, Joe! He changed me, too. Thanks for calling me. I’m glad we could do this together, to honor him, you know.”
Father, It’s kind of hard to express how much respect I feel for Joe and Nick! It gives me hope that it’s never too late to do the right thing! Help me to do the right thing!