Mary Held Him

Joseph had him taken down from the cross and Mary held him in her arms. She rocked him, she held him close to her, her tears mixing with the blood on his face and then running down his cheek. We all surrounded her, our cries turning to hoarse moans. We were sobbing, holding each other.  We prayed that somehow he could come alive, that somehow he would stand again as Lazarus did. His body just grew colder.

They said they had to take him. Joseph arranged that he would be placed in a new tomb. We watched as he was carried away, watched as they placed him in the tomb and rolled the stone to close the entrance. We left him there alone, in the dark, in the tomb. How could he be dead and we go on living?

We were dizzy with fright; the men still scattered, worried they would be next as the Rabbis stood smugly watching us from afar. The townspeople walked away, some shocked at what they caused to happen, some self righteously spitting on us as we stumbled by. We went back to the garden.

The next day, still in shock, we knew we had to prepare the burial spices. We had anointed him with myrrh at the last supper, and now we would prepare his body for burial. We were in the garden, somehow still expecting him, thinking he would return. We could still hear him, remembering what he told us and startling at every noise. He came to give strength to the weak because love has no limits. He said we would pass down what we had learned to our children and our children to their children generation after generation until the time was right. Then we would speak and his message would be heard through us.

But for now, we the Myrrh Bearers would gather our oil and our spices and prepare ourselves to see him again tomorrow.

brown tomb
Photo by Jose Aragones on

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