The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Florence Gildea.

Luke 23:50-56

The Burial of Jesus

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.



Reflection

Welcome to Holy Saturday; welcome to limbo. It's the day the disciples must have woken up, wishing it was all a dream. Maybe for the first few minutes they couldn't remember what had happened. Then it hit them. Everything they had worked and sacrificed for - gone. All their dreams and expectations shattered.

We don't know what the Twelve did that day after having betrayed Jesus. But not everyone decided to desert him to save their skin. Joseph of Arimathea, who thus far had been watching Jesus from the sidelines, suddenly casts his lot with the seemingly failed Messiah, mustering up the courage to ask Pilate for His body. And some long-standing female disciples risk being caught by the authorities to find out where Jesus is lain. For better or worse, they want to be with him.

It might seem like nothing could bring Jesus back. But these followers still quietly give what they can - herbs, spices, a tomb - and put their necks on their line for Jesus. This is love. It isn't about results or efficiencies; it's about giving even when it doesn't make sense, even when there is no hope of getting something in return. That is how Jesus loves us, and it's how these disciples love Him.

Their devotion will give them front-row seats to the greatest event in human history. It is because the women decide to pay Jesus' body the respect it deserves that they are the first to see it never needed preserving: Jesus was alive.

How you react when you think it's game-over matters. How you end the relationship, leave that job, town, or way of life matters because even what seems to be dead deserves to be honoured. Not least because you never know if God will raise it back to life.



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