They hid behind the shuttered windows. Lamps unlit. One shaking person here. Two there. Another a little further away. They feared to travel too far. After all – they might be seen. The earthquake had only intensified their fear. Like all enslaved societies, communication was passed despite the restrictions. Who was where – assorted tales of news – some true – some false. It was said even the Sanhedrin was in hiding within their own homes until the damage to the temple could be assessed further. Only three truly rested in peace.
Mother Mary, the other Mary and John.
Their feet stumbled all the way to the cross focused only on the One they loved. Their eyes saw the brokenness of sin covered by the glory of love’s mercy . Their ears opened to the vile evil the world offered, but broken by the blessed words “It is finished”. They fell when the earth shook the stones loose from under their feet. They covered their heads as best they could when the heavens cried its wracking sobs and pelted their heads with it. And when His body was lowered into their arms, they were covered with the blood that He had shed – for them – for all of them – for that is what he had said.
Could it only be just a day ago they had sat together laughing,talking, and praising Abba?
Mother Mary wrapped Him in His final swaddling clothes.
Joseph of Arimathea and his hirelings hurried them along. Passover Sabbath drawing closer as the sun sank deeper into the west
A short journey to his home where they would all rest as required.
They would be safe with him. He had put his protection around the three of them. As shaken as Caiaphas had been after the temple was damaged, Joseph was certain he would not move against any of the others, but he could not promise any more than that. Nicodemus would let him know if that changed.
The blessed Sabbath passed slowly, A trickle of information was passed despite the restrictions that were in place for this day. Joseph watched – he listened – he prayed for his three visitors. He had especially been watching Yeshua’s mother. His wife and children couldn’t seem to leave her presence. They sat at her feet as did John and the other Mary. It was as if Yeshua was still among them. Tears still colored her eyes and nose, but her voice strong as she told stories of her son as a child and laid her hands upon them all. Later, they sang their prayers and thankfulness to Abba.
Joseph rubbed the back of his head and adjusted his head covering. Funny, he had never thought of G-D as Abba until he had listened to Yeshua. Now, as he watched this mother grieve her son, he could not think of G-D any other way. Although – sadly – he could not speak that faith out loud. He turned his face away as tears threatened to expose him to his world. He had done the best he could, he thought angrily. He got up and shuttered the windows against the night – at the darkness that threatened to invade.
Shortly after, Nicodemus appeared at the door. A small hand wagon full of the spices that must be applied in accordance with the laws. Mother Mary, John, and the other Mary traveled with their protectors to the tomb. The Roman soldiers stood impatiently aside as the Jews went about their rituals, but their displeasure was as obvious as the darkness stealing away the light.
Tomorrow would come. They would finish what needed to be done then. When Joseph mentioned that they would seal it permanently, Mother Mary smiled sadly at him. Again, his spirit was disturbed. It was as if she carried a secret. He glanced at Nicodemus who was also staring intently at Yeshua’s mother. What was it about her that made him seek to do everything he could to protect her – to be near her??
Joseph shrugged and hurried the small group to return home before the deep dark of the evening descended. He didn’t trust the undercurrents that seemed to still shake the air around him, just as the earth had shaken under his feet yesterday. He had seen the torn curtain – the fallen stones – the shattered trappings of ritual tossed as if they had been discarded by an angry hand.
Yeshua was dead.
His disciples scattered.
The ministry of the gifted rabbi broken before it had a chance to grow larger.
Joseph and Nicodemus looked at each other one more time before they went their separate ways. Joseph knew they were thinking much the same thing. The world had changed. This time of sheltering under the blood of the lamb had changed the world. They just hadn’t realized that it was the blood of a different Passover Lamb that was changing the world far more than they could ever imagine. [google image]