Summary: I invite you all to come with me to the foot of the cross where Jesus was crucified, if we do not read this passage from our heart, soul and mind, then we would sure miss out on essential spiritual essence!
Drawing out the nails!
John 19:38”After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.”
I invite you all to come with me to the foot of the cross where Jesus was crucified, if we do not read this passage from our heart, soul and mind, then we would sure miss out on essential spiritual essence!
As I read this passage, I travel along with the author to the place where he takes us and I experience it deeply. I picture by faith Joseph of Arimathea, timid Nicodemus, assisted by few passionate holy women; drawing out the nails and slowly taking down the mangled body of Jesus Christ. I wonder whose shoulder His body now lay! I guess Joseph of Arimathea would have given His body an affectionate kiss for all the love that He had given to mankind from birth until now. Friend, please understand, it is no small job to ask permission from Pilate to take away the body of Jesus. This meant danger for Joseph! He no longer cared, though! He was ready to carry the Body of beloved Jesus and give Him a honorable burial. Jesus said: “You cannot light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Love for Him would one day overflow, spill over and dare the opposition of the devils! Back while I was conducting prayer-cell during lunch break at my office, I was summoned to the HR office and warned for being a spiritual leader and doing spiritual stuff in the office. At that time my mind wondered on the ‘Secular magazines’ that were sprawled on office desks, the dirty jokes that were abundantly spread on every floor; yet ‘prayer’ was considered taboo. I did not stop. All of us gathered inside a big van parked under a banyan tree and we continued the meeting. When you are filled with Jesus, none can stop you!
Remember, my now, His body is bruised, torn apart beyond recognition from horrendous torture of the Roman soldiers. The Lord hanging on the cross is the Rose of Sharon that was ripped and torn apart for you and for me. Prophet Isaiah said: ‘There is no beauty that we should desire Him….’ The Rose lost its beauty for our sake!
My stomach churned as I read this portion! Drawing out the nails! At that moment while they were pulling put the nails, Jesus was dead alright; but the heart of the beloved people who were handling His body must have bled while they were at the job. Remember the nails were deeply hammered into the palm of His Hands and legs so that He is firmly placed on the cross. It would have been no easy job to pull them out! Each time they pulled out the nail, I’m sure they cried, ‘you were nailed for me O Lord, for my sins O Lord, for my transgressions O Lord’. Dear friend, without this repentance, without tears and without confessions of sins there is no fun of you being a Christian, kissing the cross on Good Friday or eating ‘hot cross buns.’ I am speaking to someone out there!