Devotion for Good Friday
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. -John 19:41-42
Good Friday worship services are usually pretty somber. They usually take on a contemplative, reflective, and quiet tone. Music is played gently, lights are dimmed, and not much conversation happens before or after the service.
I do not think Jesus' day of crucifixion was all that quiet. In fact, I think it was pretty loud.
The evening before, after celebrating the first Eucharist and washing the disciples' feet, Jesus and his disciples moved from the upper room to a garden for prayer. It is in that change of location where things start getting really noisy!
Soldiers arrest Jesus, Peter cuts off a slave's ear, and Jesus is taken in to be tried for blasphemy. The group gathered are not quiet about what they are doing and the Gospel of John records that many are awake in the high priest's house, including a number of slaves who are trying to figure out who Jesus' disciples are.
The next morning Pilate interrogates Jesus and has him flogged. None of this was quiet or out of sight. The crowds roar and Jesus is lifted up on a cross. Even at the site of the crucifixion people gather to watch and witness. More sounds.
However, at the end of the day, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and likely some other unnamed followers of Jesus quietly remove his body and take it to the grave. I suspect they went in silence, tears streaming down their face, wondering what was next.
While the world went on that day, with all its loud sounds, the garden where Jesus was laid to rest was silent. While our world goes on today, with all its loud sounds, Christians wait in silence. Waiting to exhale, waiting for what is next.
Peace, Pastor Andy