The Burial of Jesus

This is written by Ayozie. She has been at St Mary's for five years and is a member of the worship team. She is mum to two teenage daughters, Daniella and Kezia.

Mark 15:33-47

The death of Jesus

33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?' (which means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?').

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, he's calling Elijah.'
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 'Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down,' he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!'

40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The burial of Jesus


42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

Reflection

In this passage, things seemed to be at their darkest, it was literally dark. Jesus felt forsaken and the women who were witnessing the death of Jesus would have been overwhelmed with sorrow.

They had been steadfast to the end.

And then we encounter Joseph of Arimathea, who had been waiting for the kingdom of God and was attentive to the voice of God. He bravely asked for the body of Jesus. What would he have been thinking as he wrapped the body of Jesus in linen? He had been waiting for the kingdom of God and he would have placed his hope in Jesus. Burying Jesus would have represented the burial of his hope. Hope deferred which could have made his heart grow sick, but he didn’t realise that the story wasn’t over, the resurrection was to come.

Before resurrection, there has to be death. It is painful and hopeless and can feel like you're completely alone. Ironically, when the most important work of Jesus' life and ministry was being accomplished, things were at their darkest and Jesus felt completely abandoned.
When we are faced with such times, Jesus completely understands. He knows that what we are experiencing isn't the end of the story.

Are there areas where you are currently experiencing disappointment and hopelessness? Where you have invested much of your resources and time and it looks like all your hopes have been buried?

Pray that the Lord of the resurrection would breathe life and hope into dreams that have died and that our eyes would be unveiled to see with God’s perspective, that there is no longer a wall of separation between ourselves and God. There is no pain we could go through that he hasn’t already experienced.
 

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