When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered it to be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away (Matthew 27.57-60)
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ dying. Easter Day celebrates Jesus’ rising. Holy Saturday concentrates on Jesus dead and buried.
Jesus’ burial is but a stage. A postlude to his death and a prelude to his resurrection. Thus, not a permanent state. Jesus didn’t and doesn’t remain buried.
A good, necessary, and faithful thing for me to remember…
For no matter how marvelous are the creedal affirmations of belief in God or how monumental the libraries of theological treatises on the nature of God or how magnificent the houses of worship – from the high vaulted arches of cathedrals to the sacred simplicity of the humblest sanctuaries – all of it and more cannot contain Jesus. He is enshrined in none of it and, surely, not entombed in any of it.
Jesus, who bursts the confines of every definition, formula, thought, as the wind of the Holy Spirit, is always out in front, calling, saying, “Follow me.”
© 2022 PRA
Illustration: The Dead Christ, Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543)