The Lord in the Tomb

They say it is darkest just before the dawn.
I imagine lying there in the dark,
recalling the brutal and humiliating events of Friday,
with the no glimmer of what comes next.

How fast the events had unfolded
from the triumphal entry into the city to shouts of ‘Hosannah’
to the arrest in the garden and the mockery of a trial
then to the ignominious death on a hill, hanging on the cross.

Hopes were high this man lying in the tomb would save Israel.
He did wonders like healing the infirm and feeding the thousands.
He spoke with such authority clothed in love and tenderness
Even his enemies were enthralled by what he said and did.

Why and how did it come to this?
Why did so much promise come to such an awful ending?
Why and how could his followers have missed the signs?
“Could we start again please?”

Why must it end in death when He kept on promising us eternal Life?
Why must he suffer and die like an ordinary criminal?
If He was God, as He had claimed, why didn’t He just
Make things right with the wave of His hand?

I stare at the dead man laid out in the tomb
And I struggle with my own ‘whys’.
In the silence and emptiness of the tomb,
I try to come to terms the events in my life I do not understand.

After all my prayers, why am I still beset by doubts and discouragement?
After all the giving and sharing, why am I still often bedeviled by selfishness?
After all the self-denials and sacrifices, why am I still driven by lustful passions?
After all the serving and reaching out, why am I still stuck with my ego?

And after all the thousand years people have been following this Man
Why are we still divided and furiously at each others’ throats?
Why do millions die of hunger in a sea of plenty?
Why do some people have more than they need even for a hundred lifetimes?

In the darkness of the tomb, I take in all my doubts and despair.
I watch the dead Man lying there and wondering
Will I ever truly understand everything you have taught me?
Will I ever truly live out everything you have asked of me?

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth,
and taking down the body,
wrapped it in the linen cloth,
and laid it in a tomb
that had been hewn out of the rock.
He then rolled a stone
against the door of the tomb.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses
saw where the body was laid.
Mark 15:46-47

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