Friday, March 29, 2013

THE BURIAL by Tony Manley

When death occurs, close friends and family come, comfort, and offer support. At the burial, close friends and family attend to experience a type of closure - “to see this life to the end”- a completing the process, if you  will. 

Interestingly, when the time came to remove Jesus’ body from the cross to prepare Him for His burial, we are given some insight into who was there. His death had been a public and known event to anyone who knew Him, which means His family, friends, and disciples. All four gospels record a rich man, Joseph from Aramathea, as the one that went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body. Each gospel speaks to Joseph being on the Council of the Jewish Leaders, yet he did not want to be public with his faith/relationship to Christ. We had never read anything about this man Joseph being a part of Jesus’ life before this time. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but as Jesus is taken to the place of His burial, I have to ask where were His family and friends? The ones we have gotten to know through the gospels? Was fear, shame, guilt, disbelief, discouragement, finances, or other excuses what kept them away? Would there be regret in the hearts of those left behind due to not being there at the end – the burial? Truly, the day of His death, even the night before, had been intense, chaotic, and I am sure horrific to have lived. But it makes me wonder about the hearts of those who knew and loved Him the most.

What is it that causes a heart to back away, run away, or turn away in the hard moments?
Because I know Sunday is coming, (I have the privilege of knowing and experiencing the Sunday of this time in Jesus life), I know the burial was not the end. But for those in His life on that Friday, His death definitely felt final. Final feels hopeless and final. No more hope. Is that where their hearts were – without hope?

God has reminded me that in my moments that look final and hopeless, I am never without hope and my life is not final at death.

Sunday is coming.

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