Holy Week gives us pause.
We reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made,
the devotion of his followers,
and the grief they suffer in his death.
How will you walk through Holy Week? Where do you find yourself in the cast of characters surrounding Jesus during this Lenten season?next >
After this Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take away the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one because he feared the Jewish authorities. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the one who at first had come to Jesus at night, was there too. He brought a mixture of myrrh and aloe, nearly seventy-five pounds in all. Following Jewish burial customs, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the spices, in linen cloths. There was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish Preparation Day and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus in it.
John 19:38-42next >
Sometimes with grief, we get through it by ticking off tasks which are necessary details. Such was the case with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. One a secret disciple, the other a follower who came to Jesus at night, together they take on the task of preparing the body for burial. Imagine the care with which they tended this last task of compassion, wrapping his body in spices and linen cloths. They finished their work once Jesus was placed in the new tomb.
What do we do when hope is gone, and a new day seems impossible? How do we make our way through pain and despair when Jesus seems so far away? Joseph and Nicodemus started it by doing what needed to be done. Perhaps when we feel as alone as they did, our task is to begin what needs to be done.
Brian Foremannext >
God, hear the cries of my broken heart. See the tears flowing from shattered spirits. Hold me when I am unable to do anything more than put one foot in front of the other. Amen.next >
The Kingdom is here, but not yet in its fullness.
Jesus taught his followers to be about Kingdom-building through service and love. He never promised them it would be easy.
Go and do likewise.
Brian Foreman is the director of the Campbell Youth Theological Institute (CYTI) at Campbell University, where rising high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors are invited to explore their faith, vocational leanings, and how each translates into social action through lives of service and leadership. For more information about CYTI, visit www.campbellyti.com.
Brian is also professor in the Divinity School and the Department of Christian Studies, teaching courses in youth and education ministry, as well as Introduction to Christianity classes.
Brian lives in Raleigh with his wife Denise and two teenagers, Brock, 17, and Adria, 13, who are his own personal youth group.
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