John 19:38–42 (ESV) ~ After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was 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 away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
He is laying in a tomb. Coming King. Conquering Hero. Son of Man. Son of God. Or at least that’s who they thought He had been. Up until this very moment there had still been hope. That things would change, that good would prevail, that He would would win. But now all hope has gone, and His followers, those who are left, are standing outside a strangers tomb, wondering what went wrong.
Still ringing in their ears were the chants of the crowd, calling for His death. The screams of their friend, as His body was broken and bloodied by the scourger. The mocking of the crowd as He carried His cross through the city streets. The ringing of the nails, with each stroke as the hammer came down. His crying out to God as He took His last breath. The sound of the spear piercing His side, proving He was gone.
Still playing in their minds were all the ugly scenes. The look on His face when the crowd has chosen Barabbas. The acceptance in His eyes, as He knelt to meet the whip. The frailness of His body, as that man had been called to help Him carry the weight. The pain on Mary’s face as she heard her child scream. The falling of His head, with the words; “it is finished.” The blood and water that ran, leaving no doubt, He was gone.
Hope has lost. The movement is over. Death has won.
There will be no more laughter in the homes of shared friends. There will be no more stories about the Kingdom of God. There will be no more calling of fishermen or calming of the sea. There will be no more parades in the streets or antagonizing of the Pharisees. There will be no more loaves and fishes, lame men made to walk again, or Lazarus’ coming back from the grave. No more sermons, no more songs, no more signs, just no more. All of that is done now, and they are left standing all alone.
Between them and the one they love has been rolled a stone. A stone as cold and lifeless as His body now is. What had once breathed peace and love into a world desperately in need, now breaths no more.
He was going to be their King. He had claimed to be from God. He had said He was their Savior. He had promised them new life. But now HIS life, is over. His story has come to an end.
He said He was the One. But He must have been lying. Because now, He is lying in a tomb.