Matthew 27:57-66: Dead and Buried
March 23, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Here we see first how a rich man expresses his commitment to Christ. If anyone thinks that you cannot be rich and follow Jesus, here is Joseph of Arimathea, a “rich man” (27:57), and “also a disciple of Jesus.” He uses his influence to gain an audience with the governor Pilate. He asks for the body of Jesus. He then expresses his devotion by giving Jesus a proper burial according to the customs of that time and place. The two Marys are there, sitting opposite the tomb. There are witnesses, and Jesus is dead and buried.
In order to emphasize how extraordinary this resurrection of Jesus to come is, how miraculous and supernatural, the Pharisees do everything they can to prevent it. They arrange for a guard of soldiers to be stationed outside of the tomb.
He is dead.
He is buried.
Even the rich and influential among his disciples can do nothing else other than give him an appropriate goodbye, sealed in a tomb.
Soldiers guard the tomb so no “funny business” can take place.
He is dead. Buried. And guarded.
Nothing can go wrong. The story is over.
And yet it is not. It is just beginning.
The disciples of Jesus have this great truth always before their minds: they worship the One who died AND ROSE AGAIN! With that resurrection, they are confident of their own resurrection, and so live constantly with the confidence of a sure-won eternity—that neither death, nor burial, nor guards, nor Pharisees, nor Roman rulers, nor religious zealots, can prevent.
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.
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