quiet has fallen over the city
of Jerusalem with the dispersion
of the furious shrieking crowds of Friday.
the wealthy merchant of Arimathea,
moved to belief by the power of Christ’s words,
has taken the Lord's bloodied body
for burial, with Mary’s tearful gratitude.
servants cleanse the bloody wounds, anoint the body
with rare aromatic spices, and wrap it lovingly
in fresh linen winding sheets. They convey the Corpse
down darkened streets by torchlight to Joseph’s
new-hewn burial vault. Burly men, with straining
effort, roll the huge stone into place, sealing
the shuttered secrecy of the upper-story room where
they last supped with Christ,
the apostles hide, frightened by the raging mob
of the day before.
fear to be recognized and taunted,
as Peter was on Thursday night, or worse, dragged
through the streets and tortured or killed themselves.
priests stare in terrified shock
at the ragged halves of the huge sacral veil of
the Temple, hanging tattered, charred
They feel a foreboding sense of doom,
rather than the expected triumph,
in the death of the Prophet, Jesus,
Whose message and authority
they so angrily and frightingly feared.
“Let His blood be upon us and upon
our children!” they had shouted boldly.
But in the eerie silence after the storm,
facing the desecration of their Sanctuary,
they are frightened in their “victory”
over the simple Man, Who, only a week before, had
been the center of adulation, riding
on a donkey in the midst of a sea of waving palm
Their sleep will be troubled again this dark night,
and for many nights to come.
following centuries, relics, nails
and thorns, vials of blood, and the burial shroud
itself - many items of questionable provenance -
will be discovered (or created), sold, enshrined
and revered, as sacred talismans from this terrible
the glory of Easter
and the triumphant reign of Christ Jesus, Lord,
God and King Eternal, await the breaking dawn, soon
to come. A new day.
A new salvation. A new era is about to begin.
(c) 2013 Donn B. Murphy
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