The Burial of Christ.-1 Cor. 15:3-4, Matt. 12:40.
October 11, 2023, 8:30 AM

The Burial of Christ

Matt 12:40

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

gospel proclamation was that Christ died and He was buried. After His atoning blood was shed, they took the dead body of Jesus and buried it.

The most common explanation of the reason we bury bodies is to depose of it in a memorable way. The dead flesh begins to decay and will rot and stink. Left on its own it can cause disease and rampant infection among the living.

The Bible teaches us that from dust we were taken and to dust we shall return. Entombing the bodies in caves and mounds were common. There is also a finality of our earthly life when it comes to burial. It is a time for grief to be expressed with others. It is a time to mourn, to cry, to remember, to bear the pain of separation of loved ones. During Covid many were denied that experience and have a longer and harder time to adjust to their loss.

We carry out prescribed steps to help mourn loved ones when we hold a service and walk with dignity out to the grounds for burial. The hole has been dug. A vault was purchased so the soil doesn’t collapse or sink when decay sets in or caskets rot. It is sealed.

Due to the hot climate of Palestine, dead bodies decayed rapidly, so burial usually took place within a few hours after death. If someone died late in the day, burial took place the next day, but always within 24 hours after death. Among orthodox Jews today, it is not uncommon to have the burial within 24 hours and some family members do not even know their loved one has died, but they spend a considerable amount of time in mourning in the house afterwards as a gathering place for relatives and friends to support one another in the loss.

Depending upon economic and social status, burial at the time of Jesus was either in a shallow grave covered with stones or in a cave or tomb hewn out of stone. Tombs were made secure by rolling a circular stone over the entrance and sealing the tomb. This was done to secure the body from animals. Graves were often marked with a large, upright stone.

With burial there is finality; there is the affirmation that it was a real death. There is the contrast between resuscitation and resurrection. For someone who has just died or been in a near death experience and brought back to life is referred to as a resuscitation. There is no question in anyone’s mind that a burial is leaving one dead without the hope of recovery.

Burial has another emphasis for us. If we consider the symbolism of Romans 6 we are united with Christ in this death and burial and resurrection. It implies that our old self is put to death and we are created new creatures in Him.

Burial is the final act related to our bodies on earth. The job of Jesus was completed. There was no more use for His earthly body. It was finished.