Black Saturday: Honoring Jesus in His Death
Pagsapit ng dilim, dumating si Jose, ang isang mayamang taga-Arimatea na tagasunod din ni Jesus. Hiningi niya kay Pilato ang bangkay ni Jesus, kaya’t iniutos ni Pilato na ibigay ito kay Jose. Nang makuha na ang bangkay, binalutan niya ito ng malinis na tela ng lino. Inilagay niya ito sa kanyang bagong libingan na ipinauka niya sa bato.
The darkest moment in history had just happened. Jesus experienced what He, the Son of God, shouldn’t have tasted: death. By being nailed and then dying on the cross, He was subjected to terrible shame. But does this mean that He has also relinquished His right to dignity? Saan mapupunta ang bangkay Niya?
Enter Joseph of Arimathea. As a follower of Jesus, he might have heard the master mysteriously talk about building the temple again in three days after destroying it. He must have known that Jesus had the power to raise the dead. But Joseph wouldn’t have been able to put two and two together and expect that Jesus Himself will rise from the dead after three days. Ang alam lang niya, namatay si Jesus, and he wants to give him a decent burial.
He risked the ire of Jewish leaders he once feared in asking for Jesus’ body. Dahil sa ginawa niya, natupad ang prophecy about Jesus. In Isaiah 53:9, we read, “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
The grief-stricken secret disciple must have felt discouraged and hopeless. Sayang lang ba ang paniniwala ko kay Jesus? He’s gone. We can’t blame him if he ever did have these thoughts but we should applaud him for his incredible act of kindness, loyalty, and generosity. Even when Jesus was dead, Joseph of Arimathea still chose to honor Him. When God seems distant, will we be willing to do the same?
Oh, how You chose to plumb the depths of hell for us, Jesus. You tasted the bitterness of death to pay for the debt of mankind. May my heart never become as cold toward You as the tomb Your once-dead body was put in.
Does God seem silent in your life today? Malungkot, pagod, o nawawalan ka na ba ng pag-asa? Follow the example of Joseph of Arimathea and choose to honor Jesus even in the darkest of times.