6.21.13 The Burial

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John 19:38-42 “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus — but secretly because of his fear of the Jews — asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took His body away. Nicodemus (who had previously come to Him at night) also came, bringing a mixture of about 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes. Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. There was a garden in the place where He was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation and since the tomb was nearby.”

Better to be a secret disciple of Christ than no disciple at all I guess. This is an honorable thing that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus does, but one wonders why they became so bold after Jesus’ death. They were obviously respected and powerful men in their society; why not defend the innocence of Christ while he live? Whatever the case, God used these shy and fearful men in the burial of Jesus.

There are many customs in our world as to what is done with a person’s dead body. We learn here only of what is good and respectable for a Christian to have done with his body after death. Christ’s body was cared for and handled in a respectful way, and so should we do likewise. Our bodies will be raised to newness of life when Jesus comes back for his own; I for one want to have my remains contained in a single place for ease of resurrection.

  • What do you want to be done with your body after death?
  • This is a good time to tell your children what you want to have done with your own body after you die.
  • God is able to use even the most fearful of disciples. Do you want to be known as a secret worshipper of Christ, or an open one?
    • Which do you think honor’s Jesus more?

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