I posted this in October when I first saw the image in my mind. I don't often repeat posts or previously published essays, but I like this one so much, and it is so appropriate for the Holy Day, I decided to repeat it. Feel free to share it with others:
Having bought a linen cloth, [Joseph of Arimathea] took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb (Mark 15:46).
My imagination took me this morning to the tomb. I sat against a tree and looked at the massive stone covering the cave's entrance. Several yards in front of me four guards sat around a fire. They joked. Told stories. Passed the time as they waited for the sunrise, and with it another squad of soldiers who would take over the watch so they could get some sleep.
I glanced at the sky. Lots of stars. I pulled a blanket tighter around my shoulders and looked back at the stone.
Then -- all at once, like an explosion -- light burst from around the edges of the boulder and shattered the darkness. The guards scrambled to their feet. One quickly grabbed his sword and held it at the ready. The others grabbed theirs.
And then with my mind's eye I watched the stone slowly roll to the right. I felt the ground groan and shudder under its weight. And I stood up in anticipation.
But as quickly as the light appeared, it vanished. And I watched a man, dressed in a robe -- its glow fading even as I watched -- the man walked from within the cave and stood a few feet beyond the opening. He looked at the guards, and they fell back in terror. They flung their weapons aside and fled toward the trees.
When they were gone, Jesus looked at me. His expression hadn't changed. I could see His face. Still Calm. Gentle. His eyes soft. I wondered why the guards fled.
I watched myself hesitate, and then walk toward Him. As I drew near, I bowed on my knees. It was then I saw His feet beneath the robe. And the scars. I sat on the dirt and stared at them.
And that was when I realized the Lord was bending toward me. In a moment He sat in the dirt in front of me. He took me into His arms, and held me.
And He held me.
And He held me.
Squeezing me into His chest, He held me.
I rested my head on His shoulder, and looked down His back. I could see the scars from the whip that sliced His skin at the whipping post. They covered His neck, shoulders and back as far as I could see down His robe.
Scars that should have been mine.
And I whispered, Jesus, please. Help me love You always.