Luke 23:50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, 51 had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.
As I was discussing this text with a friend we wondered about v.56. These women anointed Jesus’ body, which would have been brutally mangled. Jesus was beaten, whipped, stabbed with a spear, pierced with nails in his hands and feet. His body would have been bruised, swollen in places, bloody, dirty. Imagine then rubbing your hands along the contours of Jesus. Washing off the blood. I wonder if they were praying as they did this. Or crying. Or something else.
When I searched for pictures/paintings of Jesus’ burial most of them are like the one above. Jesus is mostly intact, little blood or damage to the body is depicted. I expect the reality was very different.
Lord Jesus, this morning we remember the women who served you in this brutally intimate way. Give us grace to serve you in the messy things of life. Amen.