We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you;
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Now there was a man named Joseph who was a member of the council. He was a good and righteous man. He hadn’t agreed with the plan and actions of the council. He was from the Jewish city of Arimathea and eagerly anticipated God’s kingdom. This man went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb carved out of the rock, in which no one had ever been buried. It was the Preparation Day for the Sabbath, and the Sabbath was quickly approaching.The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was laid in it, then they went away and prepared fragrant spices and perfumed oils. (Luke 23:50-56; context)
This Holy Week we are be meditating on the fourteen “Stations of the Cross.” The Opening and Sending sections of this week’s Devos, as well as the italicized verses at the end of each station come from the Episcopal “Way of the Cross” service found in the Book of Occasional Services. (If you’d like to hear the complete work, check out the music page.)
Station 13: The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother
Daughter of Jerusalem,
Cradle your Son.
“My heart is poured out in grief,
My eyes are spent, but my sorrow’s just begun.
My name shall be ‘Mara.’
Bitter I have become.
O Death, I feel your sting,
But is it true that the grave’s
Power will be undone?”
Her tears run down her cheek:
And she has none to comfort her.
Station 14: Jesus is laid in the tomb
They pull the thorns from Jesus’ head;
Not quite believing
Their way, their truth, their live is dead.
The future looming:
A void where light is never shed.
Now they’re entombing
The bridegroom who will never wed.
You will not abandon me to the grave:
Nor let your Holy One see corruption.
Dear God, your holy Son relinquished his life to destroy death, and he died so I might live. Help me to die to self each day and live for him he rose again on the third day. As I wait and watch by the tomb, grant me the grace to remember his presence in my life, in whose name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, glorying in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, our life, and resurrection.