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Daily Reading: 25th February 2016

John 19. 40-42

40 Then they took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen bandages with spices, even as is the custom for burial with the Jews. 

41 Now there was a garden in the place where He was a crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb, in which no one had ever been placed.

42 Therefore, because of the Jewish Preparation, and because the tomb was near, they placed Jesus there.

This is a moving scene where the secret disciples did what they thought would be the last actions that they could possibly do for Jesus. They came prepared to wrap the body of Jesus in our equivalent of a body shroud. We have already seen that they had an enormous amount of spices for the embalming. They did not want to penny pinch in the area of preparing His body for burial. In their thoughts they would have seen that the embalming was to preserve His body for a long time.

Little did they realize this or understand that Jesus would burst forth from the tomb after three days and three nights.

The custom of relatives preparing for burial their deceased loved one has passed into history in our culture. The procedure of preparing a body for a funeral has passed into the hands of the professional undertakers. Therefore, it is not easy for us to imagine the scene in the garden as Joseph and Nicodemus took charge of the practicalities of preparing and burying the body of Jesus.

We can only imagine that great care would have been taken and the sensitivities of His mother, Mary, and the other women would have been upper most in their minds.

Luke tells us that the women were there:

Now the women, who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, were following him (Joseph) and they saw the tomb where he placed His body – Luke 23.55.

They would have observed the care and attention to detail that Joseph and Nicodemus gave to their beloved Master and Lord.

Even if the women knew that Jesus had said that He would rise again it appears that they, like His disciples, did not understand Him. For them this private tomb of Joseph was the final resting place of Jesus.

Whether we are buried or cremated it is important that great care and consideration is given to grieving relatives and friends. It is important to be sensitive to their needs, making sure that we display the love and compassion of Jesus to them.

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