Matthew 27:57-66 New International Version (NIV) The Burial of Jesus 57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. The Guard at the Tomb 62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. Devotion by Laurie Spencer I was standing in line at Publix the other day with my face mask on, dutifully 6 feet apart from the person ahead of me, and I turned my head to see the cover of the current National Geographic sitting in the magazine rack. I thought about the sanctity of Jesus’ tomb, and this day, Saturday, the day that suspends itself between the death and resurrection of Jesus. Being at home is a place to find peace from the outside world. With all the restrictions that we have to negotiate in public spaces to protect ourselves from the Virus, being home is our safe retreat place. But sure, it can just as easily feel like a tomb. We crave the safety of our protective walls, but as humans we are compelled to break out of the tomb and live fully in our communities. For now, we are suspended in the ‘in between’ time. Our Lord was laid to rest in the safety of an enclosed tomb. The hours of stillness lead to an amazing resurrection. For us, the quiet time, while not without its own challenges, will lead to a renewal of our lives as well. Prayer Father, Mother God, guide me today, and every day during this suspended time. May this be a time of retreat which will lead to a renewal for me, my community, and the world.