Jesus Death - The Burial - John 19:38-42 
April 15, 2022, 8:00 AM

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 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.  

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.     

The people directly involved in the burial of Jesus Christ were Joseph of Arimathea whose courage was demonstrated, Nicodemus whose commitment was demonstrated, and the women whose compassion was demonstrated.                   

The practice for bodies of the crucified was to leave them up on crosses where birds would come and eat the remains. Many bodies would be removed and thrown into a field for scavengers to devour the remains.    

Relatives could be responsible taking the bodies. Due to the hot climate of Palestine, dead bodies decayed rapidly, so burial usually took place within a few hours after death, and always within 24 hours after death.                

After the body was washed, it was usually wrapped in cloth. The wealthy used linen with spices placed between the folds.     

Paul puts these events as the core of the gospel in 1 Cor 15:3-4 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”    

When we practice the rite of baptism we symbolize our death to our old self, burial as we go under water, and we are raised to new life as a person is lifted up from the water. Why do we make a point of the burial? It is the completion of the past. It is over.     

Since the work of Jesus was now completed the use of His physical body was thought to be over, but there was more to come.  When we are buried in baptism that past is over, it symbolizes the new life to come. “Old things are passed away and behold all things become new.”  

Application:  Ask God to show you how you can demonstrate your love through Him through courage, commitment and compassion. 

Prayer:   Lord, you took care of every detail of your crucifixion to fulfill the scripture prophecies.   Through Your Holy Spirit empower me to tell all that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.   

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