Scripture Reading: Prayerfully read some or all of the following passages:
Context: Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy and respected member of the council, and Nicodemus, a Pharisee and supporter of Jesus, took great risk to their reputation and status by obtaining the body of Jesus and giving it a proper burial. They honored His body with one hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes and wrapped Him in a new burial cloth. They then placed Him in a new tomb that was hewn from rock. Since the Sabbath day was upon them, the women could not anoint Jesus’ body properly, so they planned to do so when the Sabbath was over.
Even in death, the chief priests and Pharisees abused our Lord. They convinced Pilate to give them guards to watch the tomb for fear that His disciples would steal the body and claim that Jesus rose. Thus, every earthly and political tactic was taken so as to put an end not only to Jesus’ life but also to thwart His pending resurrection.
Reflection: Ponder the scene prayerfully using the following points if useful.
- As the Sabbath was quickly approaching, Jesus’ body needed to be cleaned, wrapped and buried right away, before the Sabbath began. Ponder the contrast of deep sorrow in the heart of our Blessed Mother and the other women who remained with the short timeframe they had to prepare Jesus’ body and place it in the tomb. His death was already overwhelming; now the lack of time to care for His body was even more painful.
- Reflect also on the courage and love of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They risked being scorned by the other religious leaders for their care in burying Jesus. Their love was more powerful than their earthly societal reputation.
- See the hurried washing of Jesus’ dead body, the quick anointing with perfume to help with the smell, and the wrapping of His body in the new burial cloth.
- Imagine the men carrying His body to the tomb. The women peering into the tomb and the stone being rolled shut.
- Consider the emotions of all as they left, one by one.
- Reflect, with sorrow, upon the continuing hatred of the high priests and Pharisees who arranged a guard from Pilate to ensure that Jesus did not rise after three days.
Featured Image: Theophile Lybaert – Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense
Introduction to Meditations for Lent
- Life Decisions and Resolutions
- Palm Sunday
- Leading up to Holy Thursday
- Last Supper
- Agony in the Garden
- Jesus is Arrested and Brought Before Annas
- Jesus is Brought Before Caiaphas
- Jesus is Brought Before Pilate
- Jesus is Brought Before Herod
- Second Trial by Pilate
- Jesus Carries His Cross and is Crucified
- Jesus Speaks From the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus’ Body in the Arms of His Mother
- Jesus is Buried
- Holy Saturday