The Burial of Jesus
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
As a pastor, I have served at many visitations and funerals. One of the most heartbreaking times in any of these services is when the casket is closed for the final time or the committal service ends and it is time for the family to leave. I have been there not only as a pastor, but as a grandchild and a friend. I still clearly remember the last times I saw my grandparents at their funerals. I imagine that the Marys that are spoken of here had a similar feeling as the stone was rolled in front of the tomb. What was going through their minds? What were they feeling? There was a finality to that stone being rolled in front of the tomb, the casket being closed, the final walk away from the committal service….