Lord, bring Your light in the midst of darkness. May Your Word be the lamp to my feet today.
Read Matthew 27:57–66
The Burial of Jesus
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 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.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave there been times when you have had to wait and watch, lost in the sadness and gloom of grief?
Apparently not all members of the Jewish high council were supportive of Jesus being condemned to death (Mark 15:43). At least one of them had become his follower. Joseph now provides the tomb and prepares Jesus for burial.
Members of the Jewish authorities remember what Jesus’ disciples seem to have forgotten (63). They break all their Sabbath laws and go to see Pilate again. They want this body guarded. Pilate agrees and sends soldiers. Every human effort is made to ensure that Jesus’ corpse stays put (65)! Little could they have imagined what would actually happen. No one can shut what God has opened (Rev. 3:8).
All through this tragic, cosmic event, there are faithful witnesses; those who have not run away; those who have stayed with him, watching and waiting. Women who loved Jesus and followed him in life have followed to witness his death (55,56,61). Imagine the depth of their sorrow as they stand in the shadows, unable to do anything, feeling helpless and abandoned. How will they live without this one they have come to love so deeply? All their hope has been placed in him. Now he lies dead and buried. Their world has fallen apart.
Are you in a dark place? Do you find it hard to go on? Talk to God about it first and then talk with a trusted friend about it!
Lord, help me to hold on to You through the darkness I experience.
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