Fourteenth Station of the Cross
Jesus is laid in the tomb
There are a series of pictures representing certain aspects in the Passion of Christ, and each one corresponds to a particular incident.
This series is known as The Way of the Cross and this page introduces the Fourteenth Station.
He is laid in the tomb
The Fourteenth Station is above the tomb in the Holy Sepulchre where we see a large number of silver lamps. These lamps are maintained by the three Christian denominations who share ownership of the tomb: Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox.
Some two thousand years ago, just as the eve of the Sabbath was coming to a close, silence descended on Calvary. Everybody had gone home to prepare for the Pesah (Passover feast), except a few, including Mary, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. They had just witnessed the Crucifixion of Jesus, whom they adored. They knew the soldier was right when he said "Surely Jesus was the Son of God!" (Matt. 27:54).
Under the circumstances, a magnificent burial chamber fit for a king was called for, but they had no time. So they laid Jesus' body in the common tomb on the hill and pushed a huge boulder to block the entrance.
Then a squad of Roman soldiers arrived to guard the tomb. They had been sent by Pilate because the priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus' words: "After three days I will rise from death" (Matt. 12:40, 16:21, 27:63, Mark 8:31, 9:31, 14:58). They were fearful that the disciples would steal the body and tell people that Jesus had risen from death. The tomb was therefore sealed - breaking such a seal would be a capital crime (Matt. 27:62-65).
Considering it was just before the Passover, Joseph's actions had been quite remarkable. Interring a body was an 'unclean' activity yet he was willing to handle the dead body of Jesus. He did this because he knew it was the right thing to do, even though he would have seen nothing to gain from his actions.
Although Jesus' body was lifeless, His words remained: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26).