Monday, November 12, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

177. Jesus’ burial- Matt. 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42


-The veracity of Jesus’ burial is important for us to consider, because if there is no physical death the resurrection could be considered a hoax. The details of the entombment of the Lord are chronicled by all four gospel writers as witnesses to the fact that Christ was officially declared dead and a genuine burial was indeed conducted. Here we summarize the specifics given as to where, when, and how Jesus was laid to rest in His deceased state.

-First, we see the intriguing figure of Joseph of Arimathea (a small Jewish village thought to be 20 miles or so northwest from Jerusalem). He was a rich man, who fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9. He was described as a good and righteous member of the Sanhedrin council (Mark 15:43, Luke 23:50). He was a secret disciple of Jesus who did not consent with the religious leaders decision and action with the Lord, and he was looking for the Kingdom of God (Matthew 27:57, Luke 23:51, John 19:38). He was rightfully sacred for fear of the Jews, but he took courage by the will of God and asked Pilate’s permission to bury Jesus in his newly hewn tomb in which no one had ever been laid (Mark 15:43, Luke 23:53). He and Nicodemus anointed the Lord for His burial and wrapped Him in a clean linen shroud and placed Him in the tomb quickly because it was the day of Preparation for the Sabbath. Nicodemus was also a ruler of the Jews in the Sanhedrin, and he was the one who came to Jesus seeking how to be saved in John 3 (John 19:39). Here we see evidence of his trusting in Jesus and the coming Kingdom that was not of this world.

-In addition, Pilate, we see from the Scriptures, is surprised that Jesus was already dead in a matter of hours. With all the events of the day, which he more than likely witnessed, including the time of darkness, the earthquake, and the torn veil, he was probably wondering how they could have so quickly carried out an execution. Mark is the gospel writer who gives us the perplexity of Pilate when asked for permission for the body of Jesus. This gospel writer states how Pilate even questioned the centurion as to the genuineness of Christ’s death, which is even more proof of the physical passing of Christ from this earth.

-Jesus was laid in the garden tomb, which was very close in proximity to the place where He was crucified again for the reason of expediency due to the coming Sabbath (John 19:42). The stone was rolled to cover the grave to complete the process. This whole sequence was orchestrated and carried out ultimately by the Hand of God in amazing fashion to fulfill the Old Testament Scriptures prophetically. It is as if God had seen the whole drama play out beforehand (which He actually did). Here we see the transcendent nature of the LORD at this pivotal time in human history. God, who is outside of time, works in our earthly order to bring about His plans and purposes for salvation. The fulfillment of these prophecies to the exact degree gives us reliable reason to have faith and trust in His authority over all things. *Application* When we actually sit and contemplate how amazing all this is, we should be astonished and amazed with a heart of worship for this incomparable God of glory.

-The women, particularly Mary Magdalene and Mary (the mother of James and John), were watching to see where they laid the Savior. They along with other women who had followed Jesus from Galilee had been watching the whole scene at a distance and returned to prepare spices and ointments for His deceased body. They rested on the Sabbath and would return on the first day of the week to find the most incredible event of history! *Application* Consider the facts of Christ’s actual death today and believe in the supernatural. This was the power of God to save the world and we must believe in His work.



Verse to Memorize- Mark 15:46

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