Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
I have to admit that I have never reflected much on the events of Saturday in the Easter story, Jesus’ burial, and time in the grave. I could come up with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, but what do we even call Saturday?
Some say Holy Saturday. Some say Black Saturday.
What a difficult, seemingly hopeless day that must have been for Jesus’ followers. The disciples had abandoned Jesus, even denied and betrayed Him. Some of the women followed bravely and grieved openly, but all hope was lost for them.
In the midst of this dark time, I admire the boldness and generosity of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, both members of the religious group responsible for Jesus’ death sentence, who took Jesus’ body from the cross, prepared it with spices and linen, and laid Him in the tomb meant for Joseph and his own family. Imagine the cost to these men politically, financially, and socially!
I wonder why He had to be buried at all. Why wasn’t the plan for Jesus to rise in victory over death as publicly as He was humiliated and killed?
But Jesus had to enter the grave in order to conquer it. His body had to turn cold and stiff and lifeless for us to truly see the miraculous gift of resurrection and new life.
The Creator and Sustainer of all things has the power to make all things new, and that’s what He’s doing in us. He’s making us new.
Saturday is hard and long and dark, but Sunday is coming. We celebrate Easter as a reminder of what God has done through Jesus, and we look forward to the day when God will restore all things.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy… (Psalm 126:5-6)
Weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5b)
May we sit with the pain and sorrow of death knowing that joy is coming in the morning!
By Lisa Bond