Matthew 27:50-55 New International Version (NIV)
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[a] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
At the time when Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea laid Jesus in the tomb, they were surrounded by fear and grief along with all who witnessed the crucifixion. The fear and sudden loss of the son of God, the leader of peace, and representation of hope filled them with a mix of this fear and anger which is represented by the red in this painting. The black cloud of nauseating grief permeates through the space and walls. The uncertainty of the future and how we will move on lingers.
Of course, I can’t help but think about where we are right now, the level of uncertainty and fear that fill the world. The grief of sudden loss of our normal lives and normal schedules, the grief of loss of giving someone a hug, or not second guessing another customer in the grocery story wearing a mask.
But through all of this grief and fear, there is still hope. We will emerge from this just as Jesus’ Holy Spirit emerged and entered Heaven. This too shall pass. If we choose hope over fear; compassion of anger; and love over grief, then we too will rise.