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The Way of the Cross

Matthew 27:57-60


As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 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.


In those days the burial process involved wrapping the body with cloth, to prevent bugs gaining access, treating the body with spices and oils, to manage the smell of decay, and placing the body in an enclosed space to allow the remains to slowly decompose.   For the next several months, it was common practice to visit the remains to check on them, to visit and grieve, and to pray.  Jesus was entombed in this way.  

Have you ever been left waiting with a promise – not knowing if it would happen?  That sense of uncertain anticipation and longing was hard to handle.  The world felt broken; All good things seem to have fled – Evil felt like it had won.  Might prevailed over Justice, and Anger won over Kindness. Death consumed Life.  Dark has consumed light, and Hope is swallow in doubt.   At this point, hope is thin, fear is large, and confusion is everywhere. What experience do you have of this?  Of our journey together from Gethsemane to the tomb, what message does God impart to this place?                            


Pause here to reflects.    


Yet we call it Good Friday, which is possibly a distortion of the original “God’s Friday.” God grieved as His beloved Son died. God knows loss deeper than we do.  The Father has claimed our hardest experiences as His own:  An infinite, eternal loving relationship is sundered by the badness of petty, selfish humanity.  From our first father to our own choices, each generation broke the world anew.  We all play our part.  We are the villains here. 

It is still ‘God’s Day’ though, and hours earlier His words still ring: “Forgive them.”

Mercy and Love have the final word: Jesus promised that death wouldn’t be the end of the story. He promised that He would rise, and that nothing we can do would keep us from His love…  except our unwillingness to accept it. 

When someone we love dies, we take time to think about what they did and what their life means.  Who is Jesus to you?   What will you do with His life and teaching?  All of history pivots on His birth, life, death and coming resurrection. Come Easter Sunday and be part of the community that proclaims that His promises are for us.
             If Jesus is your friend, death isn’t the end: it’s the beginning of
                                   “FOREVER WITH GOD AND HIS PEOPLE”

Let’s Pray
as One.

God, thank you for this insight into Your heart and life.  I know myself well enough to admit that I am not enough like you.  I don’t deserve the kind of love and forgiveness you show.  What I see in myself continues to need your Life and Love.  And yet I long for all things to be made right.  I hunger for good to win. Do not let evil win – in and over me.

Come Lord Jesus and with renewed life, meet my littleness with Your greatness, my brokenness with Your healing, and my need with Your generosity.

 Death doesn’t have the final word: You do. As Abel raged against sin, may your blood speak a better word: that sin has been swallowed by love, death consumed by life, and loss overturned by joy.

Speak that word to me.


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