Dead and Buried

Photo by Michelle Griffiths
It's late spring in the UK and everywhere we see the miracle of buried seeds shooting green and producing flowers and more seed. The bright yellow dandelions around our way are particularly numerous this year. After a long cold winter they are a wonderful sight, even if I don't want too many in the garden.


Yesterday, with many others, I took part in a Good Friday procession, following the cross along a high street. In the place where we assembled on a warm sunny April morning, we found ourselves in a seed cloud. Countless tiny seeds carried on the air were falling on us and around us down to the ground. They appeared to be dandelion seeds - I can't be sure. I remembered what Jesus had said about another seed,
"...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but it it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12: 24 NRSV)
For Christians, today, Holy Saturday, is a day to confront the reality of Jesus' death and burial, the grief and despair of his disciples. It's a day of waiting - like that dreadful time after a burial or cremation when you don't know what you are supposed to do next, or how you can live without the one you have lost. I blogged about this aspect of today in another post last year Emptiness and Sorrow.


Jesus laid in tomb, by Michael O'Brien


John's gospel describes Jesus' burial like this:
"...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 cruicified, 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: 38 -end NRSV)


As we remember Jesus in the tomb, we do this in hope as we wait for the great Easter celebration of the Resurrection. May this seed of hope take root in us on this day of waiting and produce that fruit which God wills.


Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and a new day!


This post is the 46th and last in a daily series of Lenten and Holy Week reflections based on a Bible Reading from the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on John 19: 38-end.

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