87. Jesus laid in the tomb
Jesus laid in the tomb…….AND now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea went in unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
A rich man of Arimathea, a city of the Jews, Joseph was an honorable counsellor, a good man, and a just (he had not consented to the counsel and deed of them). He also waited for the kingdom of God, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews.
This man went boldly in unto Pilate, and begged that he might take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him leave.
Joseph came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes.
Then took they the body, and wound it in a clean cloth of fine linen, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
When Joseph had laid the body in his own new tomb which he had hewn out in the rock, he rolled a great stone, nigh at hand, to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
The women which came with Jesus from Galilee beheld the sepulchre, and how the body was laid. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, the mother of Joses, sitting over against the sepulchre. That day was the preparation. They returned (home) and prepared spices and ointments: and rested the sabbath day,¶Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came unto Pilate, saying, Sir, that deceiver said, while he was yet alive,
After three days I will rise again.
Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
Pilate said, Ye have a watch: make it as sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Gospel reading: Mark 15:42-47
Meditation 1 of 1:
Jesus not only died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3); he also, by the grace of God, tasted death for every one (Heb. 2:9). It was a real death that put an end to his earthly human existence. Jesus died in mid afternoon and the Sabbath began at sunset. Since the Jewish law permitted no work on the Sabbath, the body had to be buried quickly. Someone brave enough would have to get permission from the Roman authorities to take the body and bury it. The bodies of executed criminals were usually left unburied as carion for the vultures and dogs. Jesus was spared this indignity through the gracious intervention of Joseph of Arimethea. Who was this admirer and secret disciple of Jesus? Luke tells us that Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish council that condemned Jesus. We are told that he did not agree with their verdict. He was either absent from their meeting or silent when they tried Jesus. What kind of man was Joseph? Luke tells us that he was “good and righteous” and “looking for the kingdom of God”. Although he did not stand up for Jesus at his trial, he nonetheless, sought to honor him in his death by giving him a proper burial. This was to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah had foretold: “He was cut off out of the land of the living ..and they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:8-9).
In the Book of Revelations, the Lord Jesus speaks: “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one: I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Rev. 1:17-18). No tomb in the world could contain the Lord Jesus for long. His death on the cross purchased our redemption and his triumph over the grave on Easter morning defeated death. What preserved the Lord Jesus from corruption? He was kept from decay and he rose from the dead by divine power. “My flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not let your Holy One see corruption” (Psalm 16:9-10) . The mystery of Christ’s lying in the tomb on the sabbath reveals the great sabbath rest of God after the fulfillment of our salvation which brings peace to the whole world (Col. 1:18-20). Is your hope in this life only, or is it well founded in the resurrection of Christ and his promise that those who believe in him will live forever?
“Lord Jesus, you died that I might have life– everlasting life in your kingdom of peace and righteousness. Strengthen my faith that I may I know the power of your resurrection and live each day in the hope of seeing you face to face for ever.”