Today, late in the afternoon, years ago, His body was taken down from the cross and Joseph of Arametha took it. Surely it was with great care. It was a laborious task to lift and carry His body to the tomb. Heavy physically and heavy in heart. Did he know what was to come in three days?
I have no idea but I do know we know! And we rejoice and celebrate that.
This is a post for last year….it still gives me pause. And I wonder was Joseph ready for resurrection! Ready or not, it was coming and what a cause for great joy! May your heart have great joy.
The aroma was sweet and pungent. As we walked through the Spice Market, the scent surrounded us. I had never seen such an array of spices! Bold colors of spices I did not even know existed! I wanted to touch and smell them all. The spices at home came from piles just like this. And the cost of the tiny jars stored away in my kitchen was high enough, but the cost 75 pounds?
Bags and bags of spices! Tubs for display. Cinnamon bark tied up with twine. Whole nutmegs.
And how many of these bags would it take to make 75 pounds in weight?
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it inlinen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, andin the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation,since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. John 19: 38-42 ESV
Spices in tubs and bags, jars of oils, nuts and fruits. We looked up and around. It was almost too much to take in. As we continued meandering through this exotic market that was unrivaled by any food markets we had seen in any of our global travels, it hit me. 75 pounds of these spices and myrrh and aloes were used to prepare Jesus’s body for burial! What an unexpected place to learn about Christ’s burial.
These two men of prominence defiled themselves to claim the body of Jesus first by entering Pilate’s place. And not only did they touch a dead body but they carried His body to the tomb. Quickly they made the modest burial preparations. Even with the high price of 75 pounds of myrrh, aloes and spices, it was a modest amount, not enough for a king.
They risked everything to bury Jesus.
The reality of Jesus being buried was never so real. Practically, I wondered how did they carry that much weight? Where did they get it on short notice? Did the pungent smell bring tears to their eyes? Did it cling to their garments reminding them of their sorrow? Had Joseph gone earlier in the day to prepare the 75 pounds and linen cloth knowing what was to come? Everything else had been prepared ahead of time as Jesus needed it, the colt for the entry into Jerusalem, the room for the passover meal, everything, just when He needed it. Why not this? Look at the Holy week passages and see how often the word is used. It was Jerusalem in the late afternoon of the day of preparation for the Sabbath. It had to be done quickly. And quietly.
As I was surrounded by the aroma and the sounds of the market, I worshipped and gave thanks to God for this moment of experience and a bit more understanding of that sorrowful day and the morning after the Sabbath right there in that market even as the call to pray sounded. Praise for the resurrection of Christ!
“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3
The tomb is empty. He has risen.
Have a wonderful Easter.
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