Serial Story: The Death. The Burial. The Morning – 22nd March
The land was in darkness for three hours from mid-day. Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Someone soaked a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a pole and offered it to Jesus. Some of those standing there thought he was calling Elijah while others said “Leave him alone - let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
Jesus cried out as he gave up his spirit and, at that very moment, the curtain of the temple in Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom, there was a mighty earthquake, rocks split apart and tombs broke open. When the centurion and the soldiers on duty felt the earthquake and saw all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” Among the women standing a distance from the cross were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
As evening approached, a man named Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea, went to Pilate and asked for the body. Joseph took the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in a rock tomb he had intended, one day, to use as his own resting place. He had a big stone rolled in front of the entrance to the tomb and then left to observe the Sabbath.
Having observed the Sabbath, the women went to the tomb at first light taking spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb and went in, expecting to find the body of Jesus but it was not there. As they stood there, puzzled, they were dazzled by two men whose clothes shone like lightning.
The terrified women fell to the ground and listened to the words of the angels.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen.
Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of
Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified
and - on the third day - rise?”
Photo: Rev Sue Murray