Journey to the Cross
The shadows are gathering and you are called to come away. Come away to think, to pray, to rest – and to prepare.
There are many things – right now – pulling at your mind and heart. But commit yourself to this time, these moments; God is here as always, your companion along the journey of faith, to help you focus on what awaits you now.
Open your mind and heart to Word and Spirit and Truth. Allow love to move you and to change you, even in small ways that will call you forward.
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.
On the darkest of days, when all hope seems to have disappeared in a moment, two men emerge from the shadows. They come to do what must be done – right away – even as deep sadness weighs them down.
They do what they do at great risk. It is more dangerous than ever to be a disciple of Jesus, even though he is dead. Those who have followed him have to feel that revealing themselves as Jesus’ followers could bring to them the same fate as his.
But Joseph and Nicodemus venture out anyway. They do what it seems no one else will do or, perhaps, no one else can do under the weight of their crippling grief.
The two men lift up Jesus’ body and hurriedly wrap him in a linen cloth along with many spices to cover the smell that will soon follow. The body is sealed away. It is the end. Sabbath awaits.
And something else.
Lord, I understand fear. Even as the shadows gather around me, help me to remember your promise and watch for the light yet to come. Amen.
Out from the shadows God is calling you.
Even when all seems lost,
Love will not be denied.
Go now to leave the shadows;
Live into the light
Even as you await the dawn.