|Photo by Alexandre Chambon|
Reading the various accounts of Jesus' burial, I couldn't help but notice this detail that I have heard so often but haven't thought much about. Joseph placed Jesus' body in his own tomb. The one meant for him when he died. To me, this is an added layer of symbolism in the resurrection account. Joseph allowed Jesus into his tomb. As a disciple, Jesus' death took the place of Joseph's spiritual death. Joseph allowed Jesus in to his life. Even a good and upright man like himself must have had some sins that he would have liked to have kept hidden. Instead, he allowed Jesus to enter in. To enter with his grace and his love and to conquer death for him.
The question for us is do we allow Jesus in to our spiritual "tombs?" Do we allow his death to penetrate our good and upright lives? To allow his grace to penetrate down to the deep, dark tombs. To roll back the big heavy rocks we've placed over them. To die for us and to rise again.
I'm sure Joseph was as surprised as the other disciples to hear what happened with Jesus' body in the end. He was probably ready to look for a new tomb for himself when he heard the accounts of the resurrection, or went down to the tomb to check things out for himself. Most of those who witnessed the resurrection were either scared, disbelieving or incredulous. Even those who had walked with Jesus for several years of his ministry did not believe what they heard. He had talked with them and preached to them about what would happen, but they were still amazed and some were still in doubt.
Are we, like the disciples, still incredulous about the resurrection? Are we scared of what it could mean for our lives? Are we disbelieving, needing to see his hands and feet first? Or are we like the women who saw him and were filled with great joy?
For the next couple of days, let us ponder what our reaction to the resurrection would have been and what it is today.