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Burying Jesus
by: Prof. Sandee
May 20, 2002

I don't think most of us can empathize with the disciples and Mary when Jesus died. Sure we have loved ones who have died. But most die in hospitals or away from us. We know John and Mary were at the cross and watched Jesus die. Some of us have watched our loved ones die. But how many of us have handled and cleaned the body of our loved one? We leave that for others: nurses and funeral home workers.

Joseph of Arimathea asked for Jesus' body. They handled him in death as they touched Him in life. The once jubilant friend who always had a smile was no longer responding. The body was there, but He wasn't. Oh the loss they felt. I know... I helped with my Grandma's body after she died.

You hope above hope that it's not true. That the eyes will open and the person is still there. They wrapped Jesus in linen and sealed the tomb. I watched them seal Grandma's vault and lower it into the ground. There's no coming out of there. Jesus' body was sealed in with the Roman seal and guards.

My, how the disciples and Mary and all must have cried. There isn't any hope now. We handled the body, we watched them seal the tomb. It wouldn't be like Lazarus. No one would be able to open this tomb again.

The sorrow was unbearable. Their grief more than they could stand. They didn't know, they didn't understand, that Jesus was going to... I mean how could He? We handled the body. We saw.

Thomas couldn't believe. His grief was so strong. But Jesus made a special trip just to show him, He was alive. Thomas had handled the body. He knew the wounds. He would recognize them anywhere. They were etched into his mind forever.

Jesus understood and told Thomas to touch Him, so Thomas could handle Him again. Life in the body he had buried.

Jesus didn't condemn Thomas for not believing. Jesus knows how strong the physical senses are and how strong the grief of a lost loved one. Sometimes I wonder if Thomas didn't love Him most of all. With a love so strong unless he felt the wounds in a body of life, he would always remember the wounds in a body of death.

Jesus did tell Thomas, blessed are those who have not seen that believe. But those that didn't see and believed, had they handled the body in death? We are blessed because we believe having never seen. I believe Grandma is with Jesus even though I have never seen. I still remember vividly handling her body in death as I had handled her in life. It's not something I can describe. My sorrow and grief left me numb. But I would not and will not curse God. I still miss Grandma and wish she were here. But I know I'll see her again, walking streets of gold. [smile]

I pray you have that hope with your loved ones. Make that decision now. You can have that hope.

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page authored by SR Chandler
last updated February 17, 2007