Friday, April 15
Whipped...lashed within an inch of His life.
Mocked...crowned with thorns.
Slapped...beard ripped from His face.
Bound...nails pounded into His flesh.
Ridiculed...garment gambled for at His feet.
Pierced...in His side, and in His heart.
He sighed His last breath...
“It is finished.”
Now, it is time to bury Him.
But who will take Him down from the cross?
Who removed those gruesome nails from Jesus’ body?
Walk with me and let’s see...
Evening approaches. Clouds blush in the western sky as the sun begins to slide into the distant hills. It’s Preparation Day, the day before Sabbath.
A somber atmosphere hangs heavy in the city. Hearts sting from the ghastly sight of Jesus body being nailed to a cross as a common criminal.
But now, who will take down His body? He must be buried.
Appearing with boldness before Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus is Joseph of Arimathea. A rich man. A prominent member of the Sanhedrin. A secret follower of Jesus waiting for the kingdom of God.
What? Pilate summons the centurion. Jesus is dead? Pilate asks. The centurion replies in the positive. Pilate then gives Joseph permission to take Jesus’ body and bury it.
The day is growing short. Joseph rushes to the market for some linen burial cloths. Nicodemus joins him, helping to carry one hundred pounds of burial spices.
Hearts throb while lungs heave in their chests as the two men flee toward Golgotha.
Joseph takes a deep breath. Remove the nails? How can I do this?
Tears of deep grief fill his eyes and spill onto his cheeks. With trembling hands, Joseph extracts the bloody nails driven for the sins of man. First, from Jesus’ feet.
He finds a nearby ladder and timidly climbs up. He releases the cords of hate that tied Jesus’ wrists to the offensive cross beam. Next, he struggles to remove the nails...from one hand, then the other.
The Savior’s lifeless body plunges into the arms of Nicodemus.
Kneeling beside Jesus’ body, the men delicately wrap each linen strip with the spices around His body. Their arms and legs strain from the weight as they then carry Jesus to a newly hewn tomb in the garden.
After laying His body inside, the men back out of the tomb, bowing in reverence. Joseph rolls a large stone against the entrance of the tomb. The men walk back to the city in silence.
It is finished. Or is it?