April 08, 2007

the answer

This morning, as I was getting ready for worship, I had my iTunes on shuffle listening to music, and Sarah McLachlan's The Answer came on. I was about to hit 'next' because I was in the mood for spirituals, and then it hit me - what this song has always made me think of.

I don't know who Sarah wrote this song for, or what it means to her, but I'm pretty sure she did not write it from the perspective of Jesus Christ. For some strange reason, this song has always created a scene in my head that comes from John 19:38. It begins right after Jesus has died.

"Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there."
There are other accounts of Jesus' burial in the gospels, but John's is the one I think of, because John was 'the one whom Jesus loved'. They were best friends. And I think no other disciple was as affected by Jesus' death quite like John. It's like John is writing a tribute to these two men who thought enough of his best friend to use their resources and positions to care for the body that once housed a man who had changed all of their lives.

I imagine this song playing, like a soundtrack, if we were watching this scene in a movie. I imagine these words are Jesus'. I imagine Joseph and Nicodemus wrapping his body with linen and tears and remembering their friend. Remembering what He told them:

I will be the answer
At the end of the line
I will be there for you
While you take the time
In the burning of uncertainty
I will be your solid ground
I will hold the balance
If you can't look down

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all gone out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind
Take me to a
Place so holy
That I can wash this from my mind
The memory of choosing not to fight

If it takes my whole life
I won't break, I won't bend
It will all be worth it
Worth it in the end
'Cause I can only tell you what I know
That I need you in my life
When the stars have all burned out
You'll still be burning so bright

Cast me gently
Into morning
For the night has been unkind.

Later this morning, as we worshiped, we happened to sing this hymn:

I believe in the One they call Jesus
I believe He stilled storm Galilee
I believe that He walked on the water, and
I believe that He's the answer for me.

Yes I believe in the One they call Jesus
I believe He died on Mt. Calvary, and
I believe that the tomb was found empty, and
I believe that He's the Answer for me.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter. I hope that for you, it's not all just about candy and eggs. I hope for you that it's about that empty tomb - where no one had ever been laid, and where no one lays today.

2 Comments:

At 10:40 AM, Blogger hwy said...

I keep trying to think of something to say in response to this, but I can't, so I'll just say, "well done." Your ability to connect such seemingly disparate elements has produced inspiring results.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Emily said...

wow. thanks holly :)

 

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