Jesus Was Still

When a person dies, there is a sudden and unsettling stillness that settles into their body. It feels and looks unnatural because there is an utter stillness. Unlike sleep, where the rhythm of breathing usually conveys a peaceful and restorative rest, the stillness of death seems harsh.

Jesus died on the cross. His brutalized body hung limp and bent at awkward angles; suspended by nails that tore the skin. His side was pierced and watery blood flowed out.

Two secret followers worked hard to remove His body from that instrument of cruel torture. They expended the effort to bury Him with dignity. It was likely a messy experience.

The stillness of death descended on Jesus. His body was wrapped in linen strips and spices before He was placed in the stillness of a tomb.

This was no act. There was no apparent happy ending to the Messiah’s life. At this point by all evidence, this was the utter end of His life and ministry. Most of the disciples had fled. A few lingered around fearfully hoping they would not also suffer His fate.

Darkness overcame light. Death overtook life. The stone brought a sober close to the One proclaimed “King of the Jews” and “the Savior of the world.”

Jesus was still.

[This post is part of a series of brief reflections from John’s Gospel on Jesus for the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.]

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