Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:38-42
If we had listened carefully to Jesus, we would have known this was coming. He told us everything, if only we’d paid attention. At supper we heard Peter ask “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” ( John 13:36), but we were still muttering among ourselves about who was going to betray Him and missed the lesson.
Peter said he’d never betray the Lord, and yet he did; in many ways we all did. We were afraid, we were in shock, we all had good excuses, but none of us spoke, none of us acted. He went in our place, a sacrifice for our sin who had none of His own. Christ paid the price that we might be free.
Gracious God, we share the pain of loss and the hurt of separation. Our guilt is the cause of this, but Jesus was willing to take it all to the cross to wash us clean. May we be thankful for this act that reconciles us to You eternally. Amen.