39 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.[e] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.41 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. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Fasting, as Jesus told one audience, would be best practiced when the bridegroom was away. Jesus, the bridegroom and the center of all messianic hopes of his followers seemed on Good Friday to be gone, seemingly for good. The next day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a day where followers of Jesus think that fragrance is needed for decaying corpse. That Saturday would have been the end of three years of ecstatic hopes for followers of the apparantly failed messiah, Jesus of Nazarath, son of Mary.
It is, in some sense odd, to try to place yourself into a different time and place in history, but in another sense, absolutely helpful to feeling the significance of the original story of Jesus on our story today. Today, as a church, we will fast and recognize we too are in a similar place to those followers of Christ on that horrible Saturday. The major difference is we do not weep for a crucified and dead messiah, but we mourn a risen King’s absence, beg for His return, and weep for a world not-yet made right by this King.
So as we fast, and as we long, we do so in a different place in time and space. But our hearts need Christ, need to see Him, just like those first disciples that grieved a crucified messiah. Like them, we are not able to make sense of all that their eyes have seen, so today, we cry out to Jesus, come soon, make all things right, and in the mean time, use us in your world.