I wonder if the Romans thought it odd, the way they treated a lifeless body just now taken down from the cross.
Scripture tells us the disciples – Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and a couple of the women from Galilee – took care to clean and anoint the corpse, even going so far as to wrap it in fine linen before bearing it to the tomb.
And surely, “it” is the correct pronoun, right? No longer “him,” Jesus…but “it,” a messy and inanimate plank of already-decaying flesh. So why bother to wash it, clean it, tidy it up?
The Romans must’ve been bemused by it all – how this body was treated so much more reverently than the two that’d been crucified right next to it…or the tens of thousands that had already been similarly dispatched in recent years across the Empire.
Somehow, these few disciples found reason for hope in the despicable and disheartening events of Good Friday. Jesus – not yet Risen – had already taught them to expect impossible things from God.
They washed the lifeless body, in other words, because they believed – not really even knowing in precisely what they believed. This had been Jesus’ gift to them: this unreasonable, unspeakable hope.
Meditating on their encounter with the mystery of Good Friday, I was reminded of my own experience on a Friday afternoon some years ago…when I chanced upon a tale of God’s great mercy, inexplicably reaching out to sooth a father’s broken heart.
You can read about it here:
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.
pretty moving story john, thanks for sharing