Sunday, March 28, 2021

Jesus’ Birth and Burial

Luke 2

7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 23

52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.

We read St Mark’s version the passion today or the story of Jesus’ death and it led me down this rabbit hole…

Perhaps this is old to you but, I never thought about the birth of Jesus as a prophecy for his burial. But today it really hit me, so I went looking.  I only found mention of Jesus being laid in a manger in Luke none of the other books specifically mention this part of Jesus birth story.  Since Luke was written after the events took place and not by one of the original 12 disciples, it could embellish Jesus’ birth story to add this element of prophecy to the narrative. Both Mark (read today) and Mathew mention the linen cloth and hasty non-traditional burial in their accounts of Jesus’ burial. Perhaps the idea of laying down, wrapped up, at the times of the opposites of birth and death goes deeper than we can see.

But as an iRest Yoga Nidra (sleep) Meditation practitioner and instructor I see these opposites as relatable. We help our clients to lay down or sit wrapped up comfortable as they meditate. We encourage the opposites through the expansion of the mind, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, whatever is present, beyond the body, while still staying in the experience of the body. (Perhaps this could be thought of as birth and death, or just another set of opposites.) This can reveal positive and negative experiences.

Through the act of meditating on the negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions and soothing them with selfless love and joy we can come to equanimity. It is through this levelheadedness that we experience pure peace. Inside the greatest challenges lies the greatest strengths sent as messengers from which to learn. These experiences of opposites show both good and bad must coexist. Without one it is impossible to understand and appreciate the experience of the other; What does happy mean if you have never been sad?  Luke’s addition to the happy birth story of Jesus was a messenger of his sad burial and death.

The Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerhard van Honthorst, 1622, Public Domain

Burial Picture: Título: Jesús es sepultado. Año: 2018. Técnica: Óleo sobre lienzo, 81 x 116 cm. Descripción: XIV Estación del Vía Crucis para Guatemala.



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