The Worst Day in History

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Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 9.04.14 PMIt was the worst day in history – the day Christ died.  It was the greatest day in history because Christ died to atone for our sins.  It was a day when the women who surrounded his earthly ministry stood firm, heart-broken, in tears, there to the bitter end when Joseph of Arimathea stepped in to claim the body of Jesus of Nazareth, that it might be entombed before sunset when Passover began. He and Nicodemus took the body, wrapped it in fine linen, and anointed it with myrrh and aloes that Nicodemus had brought with him.

It was finished.

With the exception of these two men, the only others who followed Christ, and remained behind, were the women.  It is quite ironic, today, that in our anti-feminist version of Christianity, women are now required to submit to the wills and requirements of the men in their lives.  Had they done so, on that tragic day, no one would have remained at the foot of the Cross, mourning, praying, until it was finished.

I am a devotee and something of a supporter of the tales of the Matter of Britain, among which are many stories about Joseph of Arimathea, the Grail, Glastonbury, and the connection to the tales of Arthur.  According to the British legends, Joseph was literally the wealthiest man in the world, of Roman Senatorial class because of his great wealth.  He was said to have controlled the tin mines in Britannia, which, at the time, was alleged to be to wild, even for the Romans.  During his travels to Britannia, legend says, he took with him, his young nephew.  Other versions of the tale have the young man as his step-son, Joseph either being the brother of Mary the Mother of Christ, or her second husband.  Both versions of the tale are quite fascinating.  Only the head of a family might claim a body.  Joseph claimed the body of Jesus of Nazareth.  Maybe his wealth (and we know he was wealthy) would have allowed this.  I think it had something to do with tradition and family connections.  If so, then, one of the reasons such connections are downplayed is because it completely dispels the myth that Jesus of Nazareth was impoverished.

The other day, when I was putting on a bit of jewelry, I put on the ring I wear, blessed, that has the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is my special protector.  She is also the special protector of the Americas.  I realized, maybe for the first time, the suffering, the heart-break, and the absolute unhappiness she felt, that dark day, when her beloved son was being so horribly crucified.  And yet – through all her anguish, there is never even an moment of blame, of cursing God, or screaming out in anger.   She never betrayed God.  She never blamed God.

One legend has it that one of her other sons, possibly by adoption via Joseph, was Barabbas, the anti-Roman ‘bandit’ who fought for the liberation of Judea was to die that day.  It is part of the Matter of Britain.  The legend makes Mary’s role even more tragic.  No matter what happened that day, she was going to lose a son.  Mary’s heartbreak must have been over-whelming.

And yet – He forgave them all.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

 

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