Station Eighteen

Rob Devens: Christ in the Tomb, 2003 (digital photo of the installation for station 18 of The Way of the Cross)

Mark 15:42-47
It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.


 Jesus was dead.  It was not some cruel hoax.  He was dead.  His friends and family had to prepare for the funeral.  Word reached the disciples and they must have been stunned.  How could this have happened?  So many had followed him—so many had set their hopes on him—and now all of that seemed shattered; smashed into tiny pieces.  We invite you to sit and wonder what those who loved Jesus must have felt as they considered the finality of his death.

Come now, high king of heaven.  Come to us in flesh and bone.  Bring life to us who are weary with misery.  Bring peace to us who are overcome with weeping, whose cheeks are covered with bitter salt tears.  Seek us out, who are lost in the darkness of depression.  Do not forget us, but show mercy on us.  Impart to us your everlasting joy, so that we, who are fashioned by your hands, may praise your glory.   


The Exeter Book (c. 950) - a collection of Anglo-Saxon religious poems