You died, Jesus.
And you were not a rich man.
A wealthy man came forward to offer you a final resting place.
We don't know much about Joseph of Arimathea.
We know he was wealthy.
We know he was a voting member of the Sanhedrin (who officially wanted Jesus killed).
We also know that he was one of your followers and that he dared go to Pilate and ask for your body to be released to him.
Some sources suggest that he was also your great-uncle, the uncle of your mother Mary.
Is that why he came forward for you? Family ties? Or perhaps shame?
Or maybe he was just a kind person.
What we DO know is that he was important enough to be mentioned in all 4 of the gospel accounts.
And that he.... not the apostles.... not his mother or any other of the women... he was entrusted with your body.
Another important Joseph..... another mysterious man quietly acting according to his convictions.
You were dead, Jesus, and the Romans were still worried about your influence on your followers.
They were so concerned about what might happen that they placed guards at that tomb to make sure that no one could steal your body.
What a long night lay ahead for everyone involved!
Guards needing to keep watch... friends too frightened and grief-stricken to sleep..... oblivious people observing their Passover traditions celebrating that the angel of death passed over their households and spared their firstborn sons.... never realizing that GOD'S son was put to death that day.
One of the amazing things about this actual walk.... to me.... is that after #14... is sand as far as you can see. No more markers...... but no real direction back to the world either. Not even any footprints from earlier travelers. I had to look UP for the power lines and follow them.
I think about your friends that night.... confused.... scared.... ashamed.... wow! What just happened? We thought this guy was GOD! And he died! At the hands of the hated Romans, no less.... What does it all mean? Was it all lies?
Sometimes my life feels like that. Bereft, angry, sad, confused... emotions strung in all different directions. Help me to remember you and your friends... the very beginnings of this ministry of yours that has lasted for over 2000 years. Help me to remember a the critical moments in my life... that you are there... no matter what life looks like.... no matter how I feel.