DEATH & BURIAL
The Gospel of John states that Joseph of Arimathea requested the body of Christ from Pilate who gave him permission to take the body of our Lord. John 19:38-42
Jesus sits at God’s right hand (Mk 16:19). In the painting, Jesus’ right hand is covered, symbolizing He is temporarily immersed in death.
Jesus died around 3:00 pm, the time the priest traditionally sacrificed lambs for the forgiveness of sin. God’s timing is perfect and the comparison is obvious.
After the body’s removal from the cross, the women and John followed Joseph who had offered Jesus’ family his newly hewn tomb for His burial. This fulfilled the prophecy, “He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” Isaiah 53:9
The painting, “La Pieta” based upon Michael Angelo’s sculptural masterpiece shows Mary holding the dead body of her son, the Christ. She experiences the fulﬁllment of Simeon’s prophecy 33 years prior, “Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:34-35
This painting may initially stir emotions of sadness or pity. However, if we realize as Christ said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (Jn 12:24) We will view this painting as the necessary preface to the most joyous and celebrated event of all of creation! Christ ﬁrst must die to be forever resurrected and seated next to the Father. We, too have been preordained to physically die, but it is no more than leaving a shell behind and stepping into unspeakable glory. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
OH SACRED HEAD NOW WOUNDED
A replica of the front portion of the shroud, showing the body and face of Christ is present for your viewing.
Regardless of its contested authenticity, the shroud serves as an astonishing example of the wounds Christ sustained during his passion and crucifixion.