The Burial of Jesus

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This photo was taken from DomKirken (the Dome Church) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The following passage is taken from The Narrated Bible, a Bible arranged in chronological order.

The Burial of Jesus


Even in Jesus’ burial a remarkable story unfolds involving two men whose names will live throughout history:  Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.  That anyone outside Jesus’ family would have sufficient courage to ask for his body would be curious enough.  The real surprise, however, is that it should be a member of the very council which had called for Jesus’ execution.  Yet the record notes that Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, is also a believer, and it is he who will bury Jesus’ body in his own tomb.  Joseph will be aided by Nicodemus, the Pharisee and Jewish ruler who had come to Jesus by night asking how one is to be born again.  Although the record of that visit did not disclose the result of their discussion, the happy ending is that apparently Nicodemus has become a believer.  It is fitting, therefore, that two men whose lives have been so touched by Jesus should now express their gratitude in this final tribute.

“It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath).  So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly o Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.  Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead.  Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died.  When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.

With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.  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.  Taking Jesus body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.  This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.  Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.  Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.  He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.  Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes.  But they rested on the Sabbath in  obedience to the commandment.

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.  “Sir,” they said,  “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’  So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day.  Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead.  This last deception will be worse than the first.”

“Take a guard,” Pilate answered.  “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posing a guard.”

(All from passages in Mt. 27, Mk 15, Lk 23 and Jn 19)

Of course, you know the rest of the story.  Our Savior did indeed rise from the dead!  And he now sits at the right hand of God the Father interceding on our behalf.  So rejoice and be glad.

I wish you all a very Happy Easter.  May hope live strong in your heart.

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