Pastor David B. Curtis

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Christ's Burial

Mark 15:42-47

Delivered 12/16/2007

We have spent the last two weeks looking at the death of Christ. This morning we are going to be looking at His burial. Let me begin by asking you a question: Is the burial of Christ significant? And if it is, why?

The answer is, "Yes, it is very significant!" It is significant because it is part of the Gospel:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, (1 Corinthians 15:1 NASB)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3 NASB)
and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:4 NASB)

Typically, when we refer to the Gospel, we speak of the death and resurrection of Christ. But under inspiration, Paul includes His burial as part of the Gospel. It is obvious that with his inclusion and the details by all the Gospel writers, there is more significance to the burial of Christ than simply placing another body in the grave. Christ's burial assures us of the good news in His death.

We have been following Jesus' life through the book of Mark. We have seen three and a half years of His life. We saw Him call His disciples and begin His ministry. We have seen Him confront the religious leaders of Israel, cast out demons, raise the dead, heal the sick, feed the multitudes. We have heard Him teach about the destruction of the Jewish temple and the end of the age. We have seen His trials before Israel's leaders and before Rome, we have seen Him whipped and crucified. Jesus is now dead. Think of how His disciples must have felt. Think of their despair and hopelessness. The death and burial of Christ was cause of great despair for them, but I want you to see this morning that it is cause of great joy for us who know the end of the story.

And when evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (Mark 15:42 NASB)

"Preparation day"--before we look at what the "preparation day" is, let's back up a bit and fill in some details that Mark leaves out:

The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31 NASB)

While it was not unusual for the executed to remain on the cross for a few days, the timing of this particular crucifixion demanded that the crucified be removed from their crosses in a timely fashion so that the high Sabbath might not be defiled by the dead:

The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him; (John 19:32 NASB)

Orders were given to break the legs of the victims. A heavy hammer was used to crush the bones of the victims' legs. This would have prevented their pushing up to relieve the inverted pressure of the diaphragm, thus exhaling the air in their lungs. The victims would then literally smother in the air they had breathed due to their inability to exhale.

Once their leg bones were broken, the victims died within a short time.

but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; (John 19:33 NASB)

When the Roman soldiers came to Jesus, they recognized that He was already dead. These men were veterans of crucifixion. They could spot death since they were trained to recognize it. The quivering of the arms and legs had stopped. The movement of the chest had ceased. The head had bowed in the relief of death.

but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. (John 19:34 NASB)

One of the soldiers must have wanted to make absolutely sure that Jesus was dead, so he thrust his spear into our Lord's side. Immediately, both blood and water gushed out, a fact to which John gives special significance:

And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." 37 And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED." (John 19:35-37 NASB)

John wants his readers to see that the things which took place at Calvary were the very things God had prophesied.

Back to Mark:

And when evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (Mark 15:42 NASB)

Here we see that the "preparation day" was the day before the Sabbath. To help us understand this, let me remind you of the feast days. Old Covenant Israel had seven holidays that were prescribed by God. These seven holidays are discussed throughout the Bible in both Testaments. These seven holidays are called the "Feasts of the Lord."

'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. (Leviticus 23:4 NKJV)

The word "feasts" is the Hebrew word mow'ed, which means: "to keep an appointment" or "appointed times." The word "holy convocation" means: "rehearsal." In other words, the feasts of the Lord were appointed times of worship for Israel that would serve as "dress rehearsals" in God's prophetic calendar.

These feasts are not just part of the heritage of Israel, there is something much deeper going on here. Fundamentally, these seven feasts represent and typify the sequence, timing, and significance of the major events of the Lord's redemptive career.

The study of the feasts is a study in Typology. Typology is the interpretation of Scriptural events, persons, and ceremonies as signs which prefigured Christ's fulfillment in the New Covenant with the church. Let's look at the first couple of feasts to help us understand what Mark is saying.

1. Passover

'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. (Leviticus 23:5 NASB)

Passover is the foundational feast. The other six feasts that follow are built upon it. Passover occurs in the spring of the year, on the 14th day of the Hebrew month Nisan (March/April). You'll remember that the first Passover was observed when Israel was about to be delivered from slavery in Egypt.

As we look at the Passover, please keep in mind that it is a type, or picture of something much greater; it pictured the redemption of God's elect through the sacrifice of the sinless Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household. (Exodus 12:3 NASB)

Who is the anti-type of the lamb? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. A lamb is rather symbolic in Christological interpretation. How do we know this? We learn this in the New Testament. When Jesus first appears publicly, John the Baptist introduces Him as the "Lamb of God":

These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:28-29 NASB)

John was speaking to a 1st Century Jewish audience. The image of "Lamb" would have communicated to them a lamb as a sacrifice.

In the evening of the fourteenth day, at exactly 3:00 p.m., the Passover lamb was to be killed. And Jesus, our Lamb, was killed on the very same day, at the very same time as the Passover lamb. This is no coincidence!

The typical significance of the Passover is very clear in the New Testament writings. Probably no Mosaic institution is a more perfect type than this. The first Passover was celebrated on the 14th of Nisan. And almost two thousand years later, Jesus Christ was crucified on the 14th of Nisan. While Israel was celebrating their Passover, Jesus, the true Lamb of God, was being crucified. He was the Lamb of God, which the ancient Passover lamb typified. He died to save us from God's judgments, just as that lamb died instead of the first-born.

Passover was a shadow, or type; the anti-type was Calvary. Passover was celebrated on the 14th of Nisan, beginning the first exodus. And Jesus Christ was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, beginning the second exodus to the promised land of the New Heavens and New Earth.

The second feast was:

2. Unleavened Bread

'Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6 NASB)

God appointed another feast that was to begin the very next day after Passover, on the fifteenth of the Hebrew month Nisan. It is called the "Feast of Unleavened Bread." It was to last for seven days. On the first night, and again on the seventh, there was to be a holy convocation; these were High Sabbaths.

On this feast they would put grain in the ground and then pray to God to bring the harvest for the coming year. The Hebrews would pray, "Give us life out of the earth." as they put the grain in the ground. What was happening to Jesus on this feast as every Israelite was praying, "Give us life out of the earth"? They were burying Him. Think about that!

As with the other feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23, the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is found in the work of the Messiah. Passover pictures the substitutionary DEATH of the Messiah as the Passover Lamb. The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures the BURIAL of the Messiah, and the feast that follows, which is FIRST FRUITS, pictures the RESURRECTION of the Messiah. Do you see the Gospel in the feasts?

And when evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, (Mark 15:42 NASB)

"The day before the Sabbath"; This is not the weekly Sabbath, but the Sabbath of Unleavened bread. Remember that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a special High Sabbath, and no work is to be done. We assume they had to get Jesus' body in the tomb before the weekly Sabbath, but it wasn't the weekly Sabbath, it was the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread. So, Passover occurs on the 14th; Unleavened Bread occurs on the 15th and lasts till the 22nd.

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43 NASB)

Only in the burial story of Christ do we meet Joseph of Arimathea. He is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. Mark tells us that He was a prominent member of the Council. This means that he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. He was a member of the corrupt leadership of Israel. But Luke tells us:

(he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; (Luke 23:51 NASB)

Matthew fills in some more details, He did not consent to their evil plan, because he was a disciple of Jesus Christ:

And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. (Matthew 27:57 NASB)

Here is a member of the Sanhedrin who is a disciple of Jesus. The Sanhedrin hated Jesus, how could Joseph be His disciple without them attacking Him? John tells us:

And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body. (John 19:38 NASB)

So Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus Christ. How does that fit your theology? If you hold to a Lordship Theology, this doesn't fit. Joseph wasn't the only secret disciple:

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. (John 12:42-43 NASB)

The rulers were believing in Jesus, but they were doing it secretly. Joseph was one of these secret disciples. But Luke tells us that He was a righteous man:

And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (Luke 23:50 NASB)

So, we have before us a respected man, well to do, and secret follower of Christ while at the same time a member of the ruling Council of the Jews. Though a "good and righteous man," he regularly rubbed shoulders with the enemies of Christ, listened anxiously to their plots, and watched helplessly as they consented together to put Him to death. All the while, Joseph maintained a heart for Jesus Christ, living as a believer in the midst of the most intolerable atmosphere of hatred for the Christian Gospel and Christ's kingdom. At maybe the most difficult moment, as the religious leaders gloated of their success in having Jesus Christ put to death, Joseph "gathered up courage, and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus."

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43 NASB)

His cover was gone; he is no longer a "secret" disciple of Jesus Christ. Joseph of Arimathea, obscure among the numbers that followed Christ, would be forever known as the man that took care of the body of the crucified Lord of glory.

Why Joseph? It would seem obvious that either the Lord's family or the disciples that had been with Him for three years would have claimed His body. Though the Romans preferred to leave their victims of crucifixion on the cross to decay in the Judean sun, the Jewish law called for dignity to be shown, even to a criminal:

"And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:22-23 NASB)

The job of burial normally belonged to family members who would bury the victim in the public grave of commoners so that their own family burial plot would not be defiled. There might not be much fanfare for a criminal, but they at least showed their sense of dignity for human life by placing the body in a grave. Such a burial would be the burial of a criminal. But the burial of Jesus Christ was more like that of a King! A number of scholars and expositors affirm that our Lord's burial was royal in every detail. As Leon Morris expressed it, "Jesus may have been crucified in the manner of a criminal, but he was buried in the manner of a king;...in His death, Jesus was sovereign" (Expository Reflections on the Gospel of John, 684).

And Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. (Mark 15:44-45 NASB)

Joseph must have had some clout to go into Pilate and even ask for this. Pilate is surprised that Jesus is already dead, but after checking with his centurion, he grants Joseph Jesus' body.

And Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:46 NASB)

Unknown and obscure though he may have been, Joseph became God's instrument for burying His Son as a prelude to the resurrection.

The washing of the body may have been the first rite performed on the body of Jesus once it had been taken down from the cross and prior to the anointing with spices and fragrances:

And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. (John 19:40 NASB)

This seems to indicate that the application of the perfumes to the body was an inclusion of them in the linen cloths which were wrapped around the body. Although the Gospels make no mention of the act of washing, "Shabbath" 23:5 notes this in connection with duties which were not overridden by the Sabbath restrictions, and, in Acts 9, we read that the body of Dorcas was washed (presumably with water) before she was laid out in an upper room:

And it came about at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. (Acts 9:37 NASB)

We may be fairly sure, therefore, that the washing of the body with water was one of the normal practices of the Jews.

The ancient Egyptians had an elaborate process of embalming a body for burial. They removed the organs and filled the body cavity with spices that would serve to embalm. Other cultures in that era cremated the bodies. But the Jewish practice was different. They used cloth to wrap the body and throughout the wrapping would spread the fragrant myrrh and powdery aloes in the grave cloths to diffuse the stink of putrefaction. The body was externally packed in these various spices, not so much to preserve them as to eliminate the odor of decaying flesh. They did this process immediately, rather than drawing it out as the Egyptians commonly did. Often they would burn spices at the grave to help cleanse the atmosphere of any stench.

The Fourth Gospel tells us that Joseph wasn't alone in burying Jesus:

And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. (John 19:39 NASB)

Joseph of Arimathea is not alone in his efforts to give Jesus a proper burial. He is working with Nicodemus, another very prominent member of the Sanhedrin.

The notation by John of Nicodemus "bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight," shows that the expense for Christ's burial was kingly rather than the burial of a commoner. A simple commoner might be wrapped in inexpensive cloth with a few spices and placed in a tomb. But a king was wrapped in "linen wrappings," and then large amounts of spices were used for the burial. For instance, when Herod the Great was buried, Josephus tells us that 500 servants carried spices to the burial. The amount of spices Nicodemus brought to the tomb would have required servants to join him in the process. The weight, in our measurements, amounted to over sixty-five pounds of spices, which would have been cumbersome for one person to carry. So we can picture a short procession led by Nicodemus for the purpose of giving our Lord a kingly burial.

Here we have another Jewish leader, Nicodemus, who has become a disciple of Jesus. These two men most likely began their association as colleagues on the Council of the Sanhedrin. When Nicodemus objected to the way the Council was proposing to deal with Jesus, Joseph must have taken notice. They may have talked privately and discovered that they were of like mind regarding Jesus. They may have attempted to support each other as they objected to the course the Sanhedrin seemed bent on taking. While Jesus was being crucified, they seem to have mutually agreed upon a plan to obtain His body in order to give Him a proper burial.

And Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:46 NASB)

Most of the modern day depictions of the tomb of Jesus (actually the tomb of Joseph!) show the entrance way as a door frame which has been carved into the rock­this wasn't the case in the tomb discovered in Peace Forest­the entrance on the tomb side was so narrow as to force a person entering to crawl through, it being slightly wider on the outside. That Lazarus (John 20:5) had to stoop to look into the tomb implies that the entrance was not very large.

Matthew tells us that Joseph was rich:

And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. (Matthew 27:57 NASB)

Not only is Joseph's wealth important for securing the body and of providing a place of entombment, but, by doing what he did, he fulfilled the Scripture which had been written about the suffering Servant hundreds of years previously. We'll discuss this further in a few moments.

Mark goes on to tell us that after placing Jesus in the tomb, "He rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb." Archeological evidence reveals a number of graves in this region that had a track cut in the rock in front of the opening in which a large, round stone could be rolled to secure a grave. It was no small feat to move! This kept out animals and bandits that would rob even the linen wrappings covering the bodies in graves.

Joseph plays only one role in the Jesus narrative, to attest the finality of the death and burial of Jesus and so to set the stage for the revelation of Jesus' resurrection.

And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid. (Mark 15:47 NASB)

The faithfulness of the women is again incidentally recorded, for the disciples have all long since disappeared from view, and it's left to the women to wait patiently at the cross until His body is removed, washed, and bound into linen cloths before finally being laid to rest in a tomb which was nearby.
Matthew informs us of the request the Jewish religious leaders made of Pilate after the death and burial of Jesus. They remembered that Jesus claimed He would rise from the dead after three days:

But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40 NASB)

Even though the disciples had forgotten our Lord's words about His resurrection, the Jewish religious leaders had not:

Now on the next day, which is the one after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.' 64 "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first." (Matthew 27:64 NASB)

They rejected His kingdom and His rule, calling Him "that deceiver." They had no theology of a crucified, sin atoning, and God-propitiating Messiah. Being bound by the temporal realm, they had no concept of an eternal kingdom of spiritual nature that would spread beyond the boundaries of Israel and encompass the universe. So they claimed a second deception: If they could get His body, Jesus' disciples would claim He had risen from the dead. But what good would a corpse do to shore up a crumbling religion?

Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." (Matthew 27:65 NASB)

Pilate's response can interpreted in a couple of ways, both of which are diametrically opposed to one another. Either, as the NASB translates it,"You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." This would indicate that he's commanding them to use their own forces (the Temple guards) to secure the tomb. Or as the NIV renders it:

"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." (Matthew 27:65 NIV)

This offers them Roman military assistance to achieve what they desire. There's little in the verse to indicate the actual intention of the words one way or the other, but we should look to Matthew 28:14 where the guards, having returned to report to the chief priests, are told that if the matter comes to the hearing of the governor, they would satisfy his questions and keep them out of trouble. This seems only possible if the guards were Roman, for the Temple guard would have only been answerable to the Jewish religious leaders.

And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. (Matthew 27:66 NASB)

The Greek can be taken "metaphorically" and rendered that they sealed the stone "...with the presence of a guard." The Nestle text makes this clear stating that they secured the grave "...sealing the stone with the guard."

The Roman guard was placed there by Jesus' enemies to make it virtually certain that the body stayed in the tomb throughout the time of their presence, and that it couldn't be stolen away by the disciples without demonstrable proof in the form of either the loss of their lives or seriously wounding in their defense of the tomb.

By the actions of men, therefore, God was able to make it certain that only the resurrection from the dead could remove the body from the tomb, and that, when it happened, it would be obvious that it had been raised.

All the scheming of the Jewish leaders actually proved the resurrection when it eventually took place, and although the unbeliever may interpret the events surrounding the resurrection differently than the believer, there can be no logical denial of the fact of an empty tomb when it's clear that no body was ever able to have been produced by the authorities to undermine the position of the disciples who were proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the grave.
The fact that the Gospel writers all speak of Christ's burial, and that Paul presents it in his summary of the Gospel, tells us that we must grasp the significance of the burial of our Lord. Let me close by giving you two very significant truths demonstrated in the burial of Jesus Christ;

1. Prophecy is Fulfilled

We saw earlier in our study that Jesus, by giving up His life earlier than expected, was spared from having His legs broken. John sees in this a fulfillment of prophecy. Exodus 12 tells us something important about the Passover lamb of which Jesus was a type:

"It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. (Exodus 12:46 NASB)

And also in Psalms is written:

He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken. (Psalms 34:20 NASB)

Jesus, our Passover Lamb, fulfilled this as He died on the cross without His legs being broken.

We also saw earlier in this study that Jesus' side was pierced by a soldier, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah:

"And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:10 NASB)

Just as the other aspects of our Lord's death were foretold, so was His burial. The whole concept of a "suffering servant" has its roots in the Law, Psalms, and Prophets. Though the Jews anticipated a political messiah, rather than a suffering servant, it was not because of a failure on the part of the Scripture writers to address the issue. In Isaiah 53, we find him prophesying of the atoning death of Christ:

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NASB)

The language pictures the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. He was not bearing His own sin, for He had none. He was not pierced through with judgment for His transgressions, for He never broke the Law. But we were the ones who deserved the judgment which He bore. Our iniquities fell upon Him by divine mercy, and all of God's wrath was satisfied by His sacrificial work.

Isaiah continues in his description of the Messiah:

His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. (Isaiah 53:9 NASB)

When a man was crucified, particularly for sedition, he was not accorded the normal dignity given to other citizens in burial. These criminals were carried out of the city to a common grave without any sense of honor and lumped together for burial. That is what Isaiah meant by the phrase, "His grave was assigned with wicked men." Normally, since Jesus was crucified, He would have been part of this common grave of wicked criminals. But Isaiah continues in his prophesy some 800 years before the death of Christ, "...yet He was with a rich man in His death" The exception to the normal burial of criminals took place at the request of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, as he asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. So the request was granted, and Joseph put Jesus into His own tomb, the tomb of a rich man­fulfilling prophecy.

Every detail of Biblical prophesy was fulfilled in Christ. Do you see how the truth of God's Word, written over a period of over a sixteen hundred years, maintains accuracy to the finest detail? The Bible is the Word of the Living God! You can trust it, you can count on it, you can find great comfort in it, but you must read it!

In the burial of Christ not only do we see prophecy fulfilled we also see that:

2. Christ's death is confirmed

The most notable significance is that the burial served as a certificate of death. While the Roman soldiers had already affirmed the death of Christ, the Jews could easily have spread rumors to the contrary in an effort to claim that Jesus did not really die. There are even some in our day who have claimed that the death of Christ was not actual, but that He only "swooned" on the cross. When you consider the fact of His entombment after being wrapped thoroughly in linen wrappings, covered with burial spices, there is no doubt left concerning His death. Joseph and Nicodemus, in handling the body of Christ, would also have recognized if there was any life remaining in Him as they picked up, rolled, and handled the body of Christ in their burial preparations. If they were risking their reputations and futures in Israel by caring for the body of Jesus, they certainly would not have put a fainting man into a tomb!

The burial signified a public notice that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was dead. For us who are the beneficiaries of His death, it is public notice that when Jesus said, "It is finished!" that IT IS FINISHED!

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