Mark 15:42-47: Dead and Buried, but Not the End of the Story
May 24, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
2 Samuel 22, Psalm 117, Mark 15:42-47, Galatians 5:13-26
This passage informs us of the burial and the burial place of Jesus, showing us where he was buried. It helps us with the apologetic that perhaps the disciples went to the wrong tomb when we realize that his burial place was known.
Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, and “himself looking for the kingdom of God”—that is with some nascent faith in Christ as the king in that kingdom of God—asks for permission to take the body of Jesus to provide him a proper burial. What great act of piety this is to care for Christ in such a way. Jesus is granted a dignified burial. Joseph uses his influence to gain access to Pilate, and ensures that Jesus is buried with propriety according to the customs of the time. Note sometimes people in positions of prominence, with perhaps not a fully mature faith, but still supporters of the kingdom, and looking for the kingdom of God, can be used by God to protect and care for God’s people. Pray for those in authority that we might live quiet lives and that the gospel might flourish (1 Timothy 2).
Note also that Jesus was truly dead. It is relayed to us several times to ensure that we know that he died. Joseph knows he’s dead. Pilate confirms with the centurion that he is dead. The centurion, a man of war who had seen many dead bodies, confirms that he is dead. He is buried by Joseph. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was buried—dead.
The stage is set for the greatest miracle in the universe. The resurrection, the bodily resurrection, from the dead, of Jesus the Christ. There is no human explanation for it. He really died. They did not go to the wrong tomb. He is dead and buried. But God has a greater plan and will raise this Christ from the dead.
Sometimes we can sense that all is “dead.” Our plans and hopes and dreams. But God is the God of the resurrection who is breathing new life into his people through Christ and faith in Christ, so that one day raised with him we will be raised with a body imperishable when the last trumpet shall sound. Our resurrection is guaranteed and certain. The Christian, then, even at the graveside, has a hope beyond what the world can give. For they remember that Christ too was buried. And three days later rose again.
Buried. Dead. But not the end of the story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."