Journey to the Cross
We all want to be accepted for who we are and for what we have to offer. What a blow it is, then, to be dismissed, ostracized, and rejected.
No one knew this experience more deeply than Jesus. Offering acceptance for so many, he was still misunderstood, feared, and ultimately put to death.
God offers this acceptance now to you. Open your heart to receive that love, as well as the one who came to show it to us.
After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus secretly followed Jesus. When he was killed, their hope that God chose Jesus to bring forgiveness and new life died, too. Surely the death of their friend brought deep sadness and dismay. Joseph and Nicodemus could do nothing to change this dreadful situation, so they did what they could. They cared for Jesus’ broken body and generously provided for anointing and burial. Their actions revealed their secret heart for Jesus.
The Saturday before Easter is a weird, in-between time; Jesus is dead and we pretend we don’t know about resurrection. Perhaps it is a good time to confess that sometimes we don’t know what to do. Sometimes we feel like we have run out of options and that all hope is lost. Perhaps it is a good time to remember Joseph and Nicodemus and do something kind, generous, and faithful because it might just set the stage for an Easter miracle.
God, sometimes I don’t know what to do and feel like hope is lost. Guide me toward kindness, generosity, and faithfulness. Help me participate in Easter’s miracle. Amen.
Jesus is coming. Will you accept him?
You have a gift. Will you offer it?
There will be sacrifice. Can you make it?
The gospel of Christ is scandalous,
Yet it contains the very bread of life.
The choice is yours to make.