Nicodemus – realisation and hope
The burial of Jesus
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about thirty-five kilograms. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was near by, they laid Jesus there.
The empty tomb
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
Jesus, I wish I could speak with you again.
When I came that night in secret,
I am not sure I understood everything you meant.
All that stuff about being born anew seemed so... well, weird!
But I am now beginning to wonder...
I think I understand more than I did.
You were a good man.
I heard the soldier at the Cross saying
you were the Son of God.
Yes, I think you were.
Maybe you ARE!
When Joseph and I put you in the tomb
there was no doubt that you were dead.
But now they say the body is not where we left it;
the tomb is empty!
A big part of me feels that I dare not believe it.
I mean, such things don’t happen, do they?
But I remember some of the things you said,
and the kind of person you were...
I would be shocked and amazed,
but perhaps not entirely surprised
were you to have risen from the tomb.
After all, I do believe that you were... are?... the Son of God.
And I do remember what you said...
...and even in my doubt, I have a bit of hope...
Lord, it almost feels like I am being born anew!
Jesus, how good it would be to speak with you again!
by David and Jane Denniston