The dead body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the Holy Sepulcher. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Virtue of Hope so he can always trust Jesus to raise his body from decay and death and by building the Virtue of Charity so he can help many to receive life in Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism.
See: Holy Week – Friday – The Passion of Our Lord – Jn 18:1-19:42, Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66
In His Passion, Jesus victoriously offers redemption to the willing and establishes the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As the first Good Friday draws to a close, the Blessed Virgin Mary and others act to bury the body of Jesus.
Because sunset (6 p.m.) started the celebration of the Passover (and Sabbath), the Jewish leadership rush to have the crucified bodies of Jesus and two criminals removed before dark (Deut 21:22-23), asking Pilate to break the legs of the crucified to speed up their deaths; Joseph of Arimathea, also a Jewish leader, goes to Pilate in secret out of fear of the Jews (Jn 19:28) for permission to bury Jesus’ body (Mk 15:42-45). Pilate sends soldiers to break the two criminals’ legs and to confirm Jesus is dead; a soldier confirms He is dead by thrusting a spear into Jesus’ side and, miraculously, blood and water sprays out, fulfilling ancient prophecy (Ps 34:20; Zech 12:10). Joseph is given Jesus’ body.
Joseph and Nicodemus (and perhaps St. John) perform the gruesome task of removing Jesus’ body from the Cross; tradition holds the Blessed Virgin Mary received the body of Jesus (13th Station of the Cross; 6th Sorrow of Mary). Nicodemus brings 75 pounds of an expensive spice mixture of myrrh and aloes, consistent with a royal burial. The men place a burial napkin on Jesus’ face (Sudarium of Oviedo), wrap His body with the spices in a fine linen burial cloth (Shroud of Turin), assisted by the Blessed Mother (7th Sorrow of Mary). His body is placed in Joseph’s nearby unused tomb (Holy Sepulcher) and sealed with a massive stone before sunset (14th Station); several women observe and will return after the Sabbath to finalize the burial. The next day, the chief priests and Pharisees convince Pilate to place a Roman guard at the tomb so Jesus’ disciples can’t steal His body and claim He rose from the dead (Mt 27:62-65).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at the Divine Providence of Jesus in death: Son of God, Jesus fulfills ancient Scripture by thwarting the desecration of having His legs broken; Divine Priest, Jesus through the water and blood that miraculously poured from His side, reminds of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist; Divine King, Jesus inspires His disciples to revere His dead body and give Him a royal burial; Son of Mary, Jesus blesses His Mother to be present and grieve in sorrow at His burial.
Trust Jesus to raise your body from decay
Realize: Because Jesus is a Divine Person, though His soul and body were separated at His earthly death, He mysteriously possessed both soul and body and preserved His body from decay; every Catholic man, though his body will decay in the grave, can trust Jesus will raise his body in glory (CCC 1683).
Believe: Reflect upon The Burial of Jesus Christ (CCC 624-627, 629-630).
Pray: Jesus of the Holy Sepulcher, help me build the Virtue of Hope so despite the inevitable decline, death and decay of my body, I can trust in your promise to raise me from the dead.
Help many receive life in Baptism
Realize: Through submersion in the waters of the Sacrament of Baptism, every Catholic man is “buried with Christ” and will share in the newness of life of Christ’s resurrection.
Believe: Reflect upon being Buried with Christ (CCC 1391-1401, 1416).
Pray: Jesus, Giver of Baptism, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I constantly strive to help many others to have the chance to be raised by You through the Sacrament of Baptism.