sandalwood and the burial of Jesus Christ


"After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus;  and Pilate granted permission.  So he came and took away His body.  Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of Myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.  So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews."  John 19:38-40

Joseph and NIcodemus were both part of the Sanhedrin.  While Jesus was living, they kept their faith a secret and lived in fear.  However, when they saw Jesus sacrifice his life on the cross it was then that their love for Him grew and they became men of strong courage.  They went to ask for Jesus's body... a man who had just died a criminal's death.  Joseph gave his own new tomb and Nicodemus gave an extravagant amount of spices.  Both of these actions show the change in these men's hearts, their desire to honor Jesus and to display their love for him. Their story should prompt us to do the same.  When we truly look upon the cross, no matter what we have chosen to do in the past,  our souls will cry out and we will desire to give all that we have to show our love in return. 

Sandalwood (also known as aloes) has been used since ancient times in religious ceremonies.  God designed this fragrance to calm our minds and still our hearts and to help us prepare our souls to commune with Him.  It historically was used by people who wanted to leave behind desires of this world and to instead seek true humility, devotion and love for God.  It definitely speaks well to the desires of Joseph and Nicodemus.  Myrrh, the other spice used,  has also been used since ancient times.  Historically it was used by those who were longing to let go of fear and distrust.  Think about the aroma of these two fragrances filling the cave as they prepared Jesus's body. He is such a good Father and has provided so lavishly for us in His creation.  

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