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John 19:38-42, Passover Lamb

Saturday, March 31

Unification of Humanity

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

 Jesus' body removed

The events of these last days had divided and rent families and communities. Death -- any death -- leaves a community grieved. This death -- a violent, dividing, brutal death -- was enough to leave everyone decimated. Grief tore through Jesus' family and friends like a volcano, leaving them terrified, alone, and spent.

But even in the thick of the pain, a tiny seed of unification started to grow. While Peter and the other disciples were reeling from their loss, two others -- Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, and Nicodemus, a pharisee -- lovingly cared for the body of Jesus. Peter and the other disciples would probably not have been able to persuade Pilate for the favor of removing his body, but respected leaders of the community were given the privilege. Despite the rending of the community, this small act of care was one of the first to begin to rebuild the community -- a new community unified by love for Jesus. People from opposite sides of Jesus' political status came together because they loved him and they loved what he stood for. The unification of humanity (united under love, not politics) had begun.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 19:38-42

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Earlier Event: March 30
John 19:31-37, Jesus the Passover Lamb
Later Event: April 1
John 20:1-18, Resurrection