An eerie quiet has fallen over the city
of Jerusalem with the dispersion
of the furious shrieking crowds of Friday.

Joseph, 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.

Gentle 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 tomb.

In 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.

They fear to be recognized and taunted,
as Peter was on Thursday night, or worse, dragged through the streets and tortured or killed themselves.

The high priests stare in terrified shock
at the ragged halves of the huge sacral veil of the Temple, hanging tattered, charred
and shredded.

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 fronds.

Their sleep will be troubled again this dark night, and for many nights to come.

In the 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 day.

The Resurrection, 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.


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