REFLECTIONS ON JOHN 19:38-42, ELIZABETH WALLINGFORD, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Later, 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. He 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. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At 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. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Even though Joseph hid that he was a disciple of Jesus, because he feared Jewish leaders, he and Nicodemus, took Jesus’ body to provide a proper Jewish burial. They took care of Jesus’ body according to the customs. His body was laid in a new and unused tomb. The love that Joseph felt for Jesus was strong enough that he, despite being afraid of the leaders, asked to take Jesus’ body to properly bury him. That is love we should all feel, but more openly.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your immeasurable love and pray that we may be open with our Love for you and Jesus, Amen.
Submitted by Elizabeth Wallingford, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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