59who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
Jesus Is Buried
(Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 15.42-47; Luke 23.50-56)
38Joseph from Arimathea was one of Jesus' disciples. He had kept it secret though, because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. But now he asked Pilate to let him have Jesus' body. Pilate gave him permission, and Joseph took it down from the cross.
39 Nicodemus also came with about 30 kilograms of spices made from myrrh and aloes. This was the same Nicodemus who had visited Jesus one night. 40The two men wrapped the body in a linen cloth, together with the spices, which was how the Jewish people buried their dead. 41In the place where Jesus had been nailed to a cross, there was a garden with a tomb that had never been used. 42The tomb was nearby, and since it was the time to prepare for the Sabbath, they were in a hurry to put Jesus' body there.
The death and burial of Princess Diana caused great controversy among the British people and members of the royal family. Although she was in some disfavour in the royal family she was in the end given a funeral and burial that were worthy of any royalty. Jesus was looked upon by Jewish leaders and Roman officials as a heretic and a common criminal but in the providence of God, he was given a burial that was worthy of his status as the Son of God. Two loyal disciples named Joseph and Nicodemus(see John 19:39) acted in obedience and faith to bring this about.
Crucified criminals were usually buried in a common unmarked grave and if it had not been for the intervention of these two men the final resting place for Christ’s body would be obscure. Part of the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus would have been lost. As it was, the tomb could be clearly identified and it was empty. In this act of devotion, these two men were achieving more than they realized.
The passage in John identifies Joseph as a secret disciple up until this point and he now comes out in the open. The other man, Nicodemus, demonstrates similar characteristics and only slowly is his commitment to Jesus revealed. He initially comes to Jesus by night (John 3:1-6) and later quietly stands up for Jesus (John 7:50-51).These two men strengthen the weak courage that each had. What each of them would not have had the courage to do individually, they were able to accomplish together.
There are always opportunities to encourage the faith of other people. Two of us together can embark on a journey of faith that either of us might be fearful of doing alone.
Lord give me the courage to go public with my faith today. Give me the grace to walk with someone who is weak and fearful. May my presence be an encouragement as they make difficult choices and live them out in faith. Amen.