Jesus is taken down from the cross
Leader: We adore thee, O Christ, and we praise thee.
All: Because by thy holy cross thou hast redeemed the world.
“Joseph of Arimathea bought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock”. Mark 15:46a
There is a young man at the tomb.
There is another man earlier in Mark’s gospel. He lived among tombs, he was naked, he had enormous strength, no one could tame him, no chain could hold him, he cried all the time with a loud voice (phone megale), he was possessed, indeed by ‘Legion’, that is ‘many’ devils. After he is healed by Jesus, we find him sitting and clothed, and he is the first person in Mark’s gospel that Jesus orders to ‘go tell others’.
The young man at Jesus’ tomb is portrayed in almost the same words as this man. When the young man is seen, he is grabbed by his clothing, and loses it, and runs off naked. When he appears again, on Sunday morning, he is sitting and fully clothed, in Jesus’ tomb. One wonders if he actually lived among those tombs. One wonders did he too have the strength to roll the stone away? Did he have faith that can tell a mountain to throw itself into the sea? The young man seems to have lost his fear when he lost his clothes. He lost his ‘sindona’ – the same word for the clothing in which Jesus was buried, in Mark. When he appears again, clothed, he is clothed in ‘stole leuke’ – a white garment…
Is it only someone who has experienced the nakedness, the abandonment that Jesus knew, who can witness death-resurrection?