When Jesus, the crowd puller from Nazareth died, there was practically no one around him. Even the jeering crowd had vanished. Present were, only a few soldiers and some women. The Son of God, Master of the Universe died in cruel desolation, unaccompanied and, un-mourned.
But as soon as he died, things moved. Several people emerged from their hiding places, even prominent members of the Sanhedrin such as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Permission was asked for a quick burial, lest the body should become a prey to animals and birds on the grand Sabbath. Pilate, perhaps a little remorseful for having condemned an innocent man, was helpful. An enormous quantity of embalming spices and perfumes, and long sheets of decent burial cloth were bought. A freshly hewn grave was allocated where no one else would be buried in the future, a tomb that for ever would be left vacant and adored. Where were all these people when he died? Probably the guilt for having abandoned him at the moment of his death was pressing their hearts. They wanted to make amends by giving him a king’s burial. Yet they have to do it in a hurry.
Mary, holding her son’s bloodless body on her lap – an image that would become immortal in art, poetry and sculpture throughout the centuries – had finished crying, having dried up all her tears. She sat quietly, supple and bent, resigned to God’s will, wondering about her son’s last words, “It is accomplished!” So, her son had not just died; he had achieved something! Although it deeply disturbed her to hear him cry, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabaktani,” she was consoled by what he said next: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Everything was now back once again in the hands of the Father. That was an enormous consolation for her!
The small assorted crowd of disciples, men and women, stood around her in deep and sorrowful silence, looking at the body on her lap. They apologized to her for having run away like cowards. The mother of mercy understood and forgave them. For her by now, it was all part of the Divine plan! Among all of them only Mary had the knowledge at that time that, in spite of all, her son was of Divine origin. Others did not know that yet. She must have believed that this could not be the final chapter of the story. On that Holy Saturday, she was the only one who kept faith and hope alive!
When they finally closed the entrance with a stone, their sensation was that of having buried a grain of wheat! A farmer was passing by. They asked from where he was coming. He said: I was sowing wheat in my field, and am returning home. With the little rain we had today, I am expecting the seeds to sprout by day-after tomorrow!”