30 Mar 2012
XIV Station: The Burial of Jesus
We adore You O Jesus and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
XIV Station - the Burial of Jesus
"After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilot permitted it. So he came and took the body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds." (John 19:38-42)
St. John does not mention people anecdotally. Each individual, by name or not, conveys something of the mystery of Jesus. Nicodemus first came at night. John takes us back to that night three years earlier. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews. He is seeking. "How can a person once grown old be born again? ... How can this happen?" Jesus gives a slight rebuke "You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?" Jesus says some of the most beloved words of Sacred Scripture to Nicodemus that night, among them: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (3:16). And Jesus, knowing Nicodemus, rewards him that night in advance: "whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God."
They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. St John will tells us in his first Letter "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and touched with our hands..." (1 John 1:1). Nicodemus is graced to touch with a 100-pound mixture of myrrh and aloes the crucified body of Jesus before the Pascal night begins.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. St John takes us back this time to the Garden of Eden. A garden brings to life what is hidden under the surface. This "new tomb" in fact brings us to Eternal Life in the Triune God.