Friday, 3 April 2015

Conversations on the way to the Cross 6: The Burial



Joseph of Arimathea asks Pilate for the body of Jesus



"Joseph of Arimathea to see you, sir."


"Oh yes?  And what do you want?"

"I apologize for disturbing you, sir.  I request your permission to remove and bury the body of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified at Golgotha this morning."

"Jesus of Nazareth?  Don't be a fool, man!  He's hardly been up there nine hours.  There's no way he can be dead yet!"

"I have reason to believe that he is, sir."

"Oh, you do, do you?  Let me get to the bottom of this.  Sestus!  Sestus!  Get me the centurion on crucifixion duty at Golgotha this morning!  And you, Mr Joseph, stay right there.  I'm not releasing any body until I know a bit more."

"Centurion Flavius of the Ninth Cohort, Mr Governor, sir!"

"Centurion Flavius.  You were on crucifixion duty today?"

"Yessir.  Three prisoners executed, sir."

"The one known as Jesus of Nazareth - is he dead yet?"

"Dead as a doornail, sir.  Stabbed him in the side with my own sword, sir."

"Remarkably quick, wasn't it?  You're certain?"

"These ain't my first crucifixions, Mr Pilate, sir.  I make sure they're dead, sir."

"Well, Mr Joseph, looks like you were correct.  Thank you, centur..."

"You were his friend, Mr Joseph?  You knew this Jesus guy?  I've gotta tell you, I ain't never seen one go the way he did.  That was something else, that was.  Were you there?  That creepy darkness, and the stillness, like the whole world was holding its breath... felt like I couldn't hardly breathe meself, watching him.  The calm on his face!  He were in agony, just like the rest, you could tell, but he had such a look on him, just like he was doing exactly what he meant to.  And then that final breath - you could almost see the spirit leaving him, fluttering off like a bird or summat... I said to myself, I said, 'This ain't no regular criminal, Flavius.  This is like... I dunno, the son of God himself!'"

Mark 15: 33-47

Other Conversations from the Cross
1: The Donkey
2: The Commotion
3: The Authority
4: The Anointing
5: The Betrayal

7: The Precaution 
8: The Resurrection

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