May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable in
your sight O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen
Joseph of Arimathea took his body and he and some of the women have placed it in a
they say that because time was short they would have to return on Sunday morning
and wrap His body properly -
because you see we were unprepared.
We didn't have the spices we would need because
we didn't believe it would happen
we believed in him
we thought he would be the one to liberate Israel.
So we are still in shock back here in 32 AD
and the last day seems something of a nightmare
it all happened so quickly.
One moment we were celebrating
at a table,
Remember how he washed our feet
and we were embarrassed because that is the kind of thing a slave does
and we would have had him King -
and then there was the thing with the bread and the wine
talking of a new covenant a new relationship
a new agreement with God
the wine being his blood and the bread being his body.
And then the party began to break up -
Judas had left
and we made our way up to the garden of Gethsemane
and remember he called Peter and a couple of the others to go with him
and I remember waking and hearing Him crying.
And you and I had gone closer and
it was almost as if some battle was going on -
he was praying that this cup might pass from him
and remember how we wondered what he could
and he spoke about his Father's wishes being carried out.
Peter and the others were asleep
- remember how he went and woke them
almost as if He wanted someone to stay awake with Him
almost as if
He was somehow .... lonely and needed company.
And then remember, there were lights coming
and Judas was there
because he came and kissed Him
and then the garden was full of guards -
and there was noise.
They grabbed Him
and we saw they had ropes
One of our group tried to use a sword
and then something was said and we all began to run
running into the night
somehow the uneasiness of the last months breaking in
remembering the sight of the Roman soldiers
that night on the way to Bethany.
And the picture of a crucifixion that crossed our minds then.
And as a cold shiver ran down our spines
ran away from the lights of the soldiers
and away from Him
running away into our darkness
and our fear
running, leaving Him with them as terror overwhelms us.
Suddenly no longer wishing to be associated with Him
no longer wanting the others to know we were with Him
afraid now that someone will hear that we had been with Him
that we had been His friend.
We heard that they took him to the high priest's house
John was there and Peter
had gone into the courtyard
and I believe he was talking too much for someone twigged by his accent he was from
Galilee and was therefore possible a friend of Jesus.
and it scared him for we have heard that he denied all knowledge of Him and he was
cursing and swearing
Someone said that Jesus just happened to catch Him in the middle of his last outburst
all the pain and the fear and the sense of betrayal broke out in Peter
and he left in tears -
Jesus was dragged across town to the Roman Procurators palace
Pilate was angry about being woken
The high priest wanted the death penalty and only Rome can
pass that sentence -
Pilate sent him even farther off to Herod's Palace
and Herod sent him back to Pilate.
But Pilate didn't want to have him killed.
He had Jesus given the 39 lashes
and then dragged back before the high priest and his people
I think he hoped that they would see how pitiful he looked
naked, no skin and very little flesh left on his back.
But they still wanted him killed
demanding that Pilate have him crucified
and when Pilate tried to talk to Him he wouldn't answer.
Almost as if he didn't know what was about to happen
someone laughed and said - something like he was a sheep going to be slaughtered.
It was morning - and we were trying to get near
when we heard he was to be crucified.
The guards had taken him below
a detachment would take him to one of the garbage dumps outside the wall
and crucify Him there.
When they came out of the fortress
they had made a crown for him
a hideous thing
and they pushed it down as hard as they could
to make sure it wouldn't come off.
They put a cross beam on his shoulders
but you see his back was so damaged he would collapse at
they grabbed a passerby and dumped the beam on his back.
I remember that all they time we were thinking -
maybe some show of power
maybe he will shake himself free
he made the blind to see -
he spoke and a cripple was healed
we have heard that he even brought Lazarus back to life
he seemed to have power over the darkness in people's lives
and so any moment
we thought -
now at this point Jesus will do something.
But then we were there and it was happening
the soldiers wanted to get back to barracks
the stench out there was awful
and so they did it
stripped them naked
held him and two others down
hammered spikes through their wrists
pulled the cross beam up on the upright
one spike through both feet
and it was done.
And we kept thinking and hoping - Jesus show your power now
but He just hung there trying to breathe
covered in blow flies
That was at nine.
By 12 great clouds covered the sky
some said they felt earthquakes
the soldiers wanted to hurry the process up
and so they smashed the legs of the other two
but when they got to Jesus
they found he was dead already
someone had said that he used that prayer he had learned as a child
before going to sleep at night:
Father into your hands I commit my Spirit
Then He died.
Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus' body
and he and some of the woman
took it and they wrapped Him as best they could
and put Him into Joseph's own tomb.
The Kingdom didn't come
and we wonder now what we will do.
There is a lot of embarrassment as we meet
I can see that some of us are feeling angry at this time
There is talk of we should have, if only
Peter is strangely quiet ….
Some are talking about getting out of Jerusalem -before they do the same to us. The
fishermen are talking about going back to fishing
and I guess a lot of us feel that way.
You see he died.
Despite our prayers despite His prayers, He died.
Why wouldn't God let Him live?
Why didn't He speak up for himself?
No - you see this makes no sense.
Why should this good man have had to die so?
And we were duped were we not - we thought
he would usher in a Kingdom
we had plans
and they all died on the cross. For a moment he had us thinking that he was
the messiah - the Prince of Glory.
Sometimes when we saw Him He seemed to transcend human barriers
like that time on the mountain -
but it's obvious now - He was just a man.
We will go back fishing -
at least some of us -
There is talk of opening his tomb on Sunday morning when the Sabbath is over,
to wrap His body properly
and we will wait until then and maybe help the women
and then we will go back.
But back to what? You see - even if He has failed - life before Him
life before He came and called us - was so boring
so pointless - when he was with us remember there was always hope
always joy even in impossible situations.
how he could somehow talk to our hearts
that His words kind of got us at a depth no one else had
Go back is the last thing I wanted to do
and I can hear already the jibes of those back in Galilee
back home who told us we were crazy to follow him.
But you see life even with His misguided ideas
even now it seems was better than life without them.
Still now it's over
And we are thinking back here in 32 AD let’s get Sunday morning out of the way and
then, who knows what we will do.
You know - something He said - wouldn't it be odd
what if we went to the tomb and he ....
But that's crazy talk - isn't it?
Now unto God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, be all honour and
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