Today’s Reading: John 19:38-42
“Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.”
After the Lord’s death, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take Jesus’ body down from the Cross, clean and wrap His Body, and bury Him. Matthew’s Gospel reveals that new tomb in which Jesus was laid belonged to Joseph. Taking Jesus’ body down from the Cross would have required great care and strength in order not to further damage His body. And to prepare Jesus’ Body to be buried, Nicodemus provides 75 pounds of burials spices along with myrrh and aloes. These two men of wealth and status could have easily recruited others to have these important tasks completed for them, but they honor Jesus by burying Him themselves. The resources and labor that Joseph and Nicodemus bring forth to bury Jesus tell of both their status and of their appreciation of the Savior.
Can you imagine carrying Jesus’ body and preparing Him for burial? Imagine the thorns lodged into His head, where a gold crown should be. Imagine the marks of dry tears and blood down the side of Jesus’ face. Imagine the swelling of the face, the cuts from the lashes, the wound on His side, and the nails in His hands and feet. To behold such a sight, and to understand why He suffered is enough to move a person to the deepest mourning the soul could experience. Surely Joseph and Nicodemus would have been overwhelmed. Yet, they take the bruised, bloodied, and battered body of Jesus and they show Him the reverence and respect that His opponents did not. They recognize that even in His death, Jesus deserves their devotion. May we show the same reverence for Jesus in His death that Joseph and Nicodemus showed whenever we reflect on the death of our Savior.
Lord God, how could it be that You would go to the Cross and suffer pain and shame and death for us to be redeemed and to live in fellowship with You? Please forgive us for our sins. Please help us to never take lightly the death of Jesus on the Cross. Help us to honor His death and to reflect on what He went through for us. Help us to never forget what You gave so that we could be forgiven. In Jesus’ precious name, AMEN.
Thru the Bible in a year (credit: Biblestudytools.com): Philippians 1:1-11; Ezekiel 18; Isaiah 47