40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 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. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (Mark 15:40-42)
Joseph and Nicodemus, the two men in this scripture, spared no expense and took great care to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. They wanted to honor Him and pay Him the appropriate respect upon His earthly death. They likely faced personal costs for doing this because they had not previously revealed that they were followers of Christ. Such association could easily have caused the loss of their respected positions on the Jewish religious council. The events that happened upon Jesus’ death; the ripping of the curtain, the darkening of the sky and the raising of some of the dead, compelled them to come forward.
We speak of having a heavy heart when we experience a loss of a friend or loved one. Michelango’s famous Pieta, a sculptural work of art that depicts Mary holding the body of Christ in her lap, silently conveys the weight of sadness and the pain of loss. But yet, we have hope. We are hopeful because Jesus promised to rise again. His death was a sacrifice upon the alter for our sins. Our salvation is secure.
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
How can we relate this to what we are experiencing now?
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:2