The Stations of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, and is a way to help Christians focus on the Passion of Christ. There are traditionally 14 stations that tell the story of Jesus’ finals hours from the time Pilate condemned him, through his crucifixion to his burial in the tomb.
Station 13. & 14. The body of Jesus is taken down and laid in the tomb Mark 15: 42 – 47 & Matthew 27: 59 – 60
It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day, that is the vigil of the Sabbath, there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. He went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead. Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph who brought a shroud and took Jesus down from the cross.
Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.
In a borrowed tomb the wounded body is laid to rest. Quickly and without ceremony, loving hands gently tend in death the man who lived so gently and who was more pure than the rock in which he now rested. Darkness is upon the earth, and when dawn comes, it will rise on a sealed tomb. Both friends and enemies of the Redeemer will keep the Sabbath rest. There is no sign of what is yet to come.
We give thanks for the peace that comes at last; that no suffering is without its end. We give thanks for the memory of many loved ones and for the promise of new life when the body fails. Because Christ has conquered, death has no sting and the grave no victory. Forgive our fear of death, our vain struggle against mortality. Even in our faith, we seem sometimes to be like people without ultimate hope. Help us to remember without fear that dust we are and to dust we will return.
Almighty God, grant to us, who have followed our Lord through the time of his most holy Passion, the inward sight to face the reality of divine suffering.
May the power of the cross be our shield against all evil in this world, our comfort in the hour of death, and our way to eternal life.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ who died upon the cross, that we might live in him. Amen