Friday, April 3, 2015

Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross --Station 13

photo by timabbott  /flickr
"Near the cross of Jesus
there stood his mother,
his mother's sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene."
       --John 19. 25

“We’re almost finished,” the Priest said. But not quite. Grieving takes a long time. We must linger here before this sad Station. Looking up we now know that it is over. It must have been hard for that little cluster that came—the Mary’s and the Mary and that one disciple. Hard to believe that the one that held them and healed them and listened to them and loved them—was dead.

But like that long line of grieving mothers and sons and daughters and fathers and friends—there is nothing to say, really. And little to do. "Do something.” they tell us. "Don’t just stand there.” But looking up at the dead Jesus there really is nothing to do.All the casseroles and flowers and sympathy cards will not change this scene.

Joseph and Nicodemus and some we do not know will tenderly take the dead Jesus and place him in Joseph’s tomb. The old Negro spiritual captured this scene: “Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?” And looking up we nod a yes.

What does it all mean this dark Station with the mother and the other women and the beloved disciple and those that did the dirty work? Who knows really?

The story goes that after the great Abraham died and the crowds gathered up and down the Washington streets where his body would pass—there was a black woman holding her tiny child. And as the caissons and the horse drawn carriage passed she held up her baby and whispered, “Take a long, long look, he died for you.” And perhaps all we can do as we stand looking up is to know that once upon a time there really was one who, knowing us through and through—loved us more than we will ever, ever know.


Lord—on this holy day we know this is Friday. So much of us and ours sloshes through Friday after Friday. The headlines tell us the breaking news is all there is. Fridays everywhere we turn. Help us to remember that time they lifted Jesus’ body down from the cross. Help us to know that this Friday—or any Friday--is not the last word. Amen.

                                   --Roger Lovette /

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