The Burial of Jesus and the guarded Tomb!!!
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard….. Matthew 27:57-65 (Luke 23:50-56)
In our previous study, we saw how Great the Love of God is for Man. We Saw the Death of Jesus and how He was forsaken by the Father for our sake. It was our Sins that Put Me on the Cross. It was our anger, bitterness, fornication, jealousy, Unforgiving Spirit, dirty thoughts and so on that took Him to the Cross. The Hell You and I deserve to Go, He bore the Pain for us. We need to see this. The more we have a clear picture of the the Cross before us, the more we will be very careful to commit Sin. Those who find pleasure in Sins have not seen the Price that was paid for their Sins. So after the Death of Jesus, what happened? Was that the end of the story? No at all!!! In fact, the Story Just began!!! So Today, we shall consider the burial of Jesus and how the chief priests and the Pharisees took Some Soldiers to guard the tomb.
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.: After the death of Christ, at least the Apostles should have come for His Body. When John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod, at least the Disciples of John took courage and approached the king to get His body to be buried(Matt 14:12).But the Apostles of Christ were nowhere to be found. They all forsook Him and ran for their lives. But thanks be to God, when others would not continue in their service and devotion to the Lord, God will always raise up others to do the Job. You refusing to do what God wanted you to do will not stop God’s work. God will always raise people for His Work. No one is indispensable in the Service of God!!! If you think that by leaving a Church, choir or department that God’s work will not continue without you, you are only deceiving yourself. If God cannot find a Man, He will use a Donkey like He used it to preach to Balaam or use a cock like He used it to bring conviction of Sin to Peter. So let us Humble ourselves in any capacity we find ourselves in the Service of God. Let us be grateful for anything we find ourselves doing in the Household of God.
So God raised a Rich Man called Joseph who was from Arimathea. He was a Secret Disciple of Jesus just like Nicodemus and also a member of the Council. And this was the Man that went to Pilate to demand for the body of Christ. God has some witnesses in High places to help us. If a Poor Fisherman like Peter had gone to Pilate, the security guard would have thrown Him out of the gate. But this influential Man helped to get the body of Christ. It is the same today, God has some influential people who are willing to help the body of Christ(Church), even today. They may be secret Disciples, they may not be called to go and and plant churches and become Apostles like Peter, James and John but they are useful to the body of Christ. So Don’t look down on those in High places of authority and begin to think they are All ungodly. You may be mistaken. In the Government, God has some Secret Disciples who may be more wholehearted and sincere than You. You will be so surprised on Judgement day when the Lord begin to commend those in High places in government for the roles they played in helping the body of Christ. Let us therefore learn never to despise anyone.
When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.: What a Wonderful Disciple!!! Despite He was a Rich Man and am sure He had servants, Yet He wrapped the body of Christ Himself. He did not see it as a Dirty work to do, He did it Himself!!! When we truly Love the Lord, no work in the Church looks like a Dirty Job to us. Watching the Toilet and mopping the Floor is never a dirty job to those whose hearts are filled with God’s Love. We are unworthy to do any service in God’s Household. We must always say Like John the Baptist, ” His dirty Sandals I am not worthy to carry(Matt 3:11). And He laid it in His own new tomb. Jesus had no house of His own to lay His head while He was alive(Matt 8:20), even at His Death, He had no tomb of His own to lay His body. He was indeed poor that we may be Rich. Jesus Himself made no preparation for His burial. His concern was that He might do the will of the Father. But God will always Honour those who have served Him Faithfully. Even after Death, if you have served God faithfully, you can be sure that God will raise people to care for your body. If you spend your whole life affecting people’s life for Christ, God will also raise people to care for your body after you are gone. If we seek first the Kingdom of God and its Righteousness, all other things, even a burial ground will be added to us. It is important to note also that this was to fulfill the Scriptures. It was written in Isaiah 53:9 that ” And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death,” This is so amazing!!! Right from the Birth to Death of Jesus, we see the Scriptures been fulfilled. Even after His Death, it was to fulfill the Scriptures. This will also be true in our lives if we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. That even after our Death, what happens to our body will be in fulfillment of what God has written in his plans for our lives. Oh how beautiful is the ends of those who spend their lives doing the will of God.
Notice is given of the women who attended His burial ceremony. These were the women who had stood by Him at the Cross(Matt 27:55-56). Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?(Romans 8:35). These Women did not allow anything to separate them from the Love and Devotion they had for Jesus. This must also be written about us. That Nothing was able to separate us from the Love we have for Christ.
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”: Here we see the Chief Priest and Pharisees very careful to ensure that the tomb was guarded. They approached Pilate and called Him, “Sir” while they addressed Jesus as a, “Deceiver”. Those who will not serve God will serve Men. Just like the Prodigal Son who refuse to serve His Father ended up serving Pig, so it is for all those who have rejected Christ and His words. They were so careful to ensure that they put measures in place so that the Disciples would not come and steal the Body of Christ from the Tomb. This is actually a good thing!!! It proved in history that the resurrection of Christ had nothing to do with His Disciples stealing His body for the tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers. It was God that allowed the Pharisees and Chief priest to make this request. If this has not happened people would have thought His Disciples stole the body. But God was going to make sure that there is a clear testimony of Christ resurrection. So we see that the very thing people who don’t know God seek to do against us is actually planned by God for greater Glory to Him. The Pharisees were only fulfilling God’s purpose. There were just enabling a better witness to come forth from the resurrection of Christ.
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard: So Pilate gave them the permission to make the place secure in the best way they know. And I am sure the Chief priest and Pharisees out of the hatred and Jealousy they had for Jesus, they would have put a great number of Roman Soldiers who kept during Shifts so that in 24 hours, there will always be some Soldiers watching that tomb so that none of the Disciples will come to the Tomb. Not only that, they sealed the stone. Interesting!!! This is God’s way of proving that the resurrection was not a Fake. Thank God it was like this. If not, people would have spread a lot of stories. Indeed our God is Almighty and Sovereign. He makes ALL things work out for Good for they that Love Him.
Dear Friend, God Loves us and care for us exactly as He loved Jesus and cared for Him. You don’t need to be worried about who will bury You or how your burial would be after You are dead. If you live Your life doing the Will of God and seeking to please Him as Jesus did. I can guarantee You 100% that He will raise people for You to do what You couldn’t plan for during your lifetime. Is this God not awesome? You have nothing to fear My Friend, cast all your cares upon the Lord and seek after His Kingdom and ALL other things will be added unto You. May the Lord give us Grace to live our lives in such a Way that even after Death, our lives is still fulfilling the Scriptures(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.