Friday, August 22, 2014
Christ's Burial And Ressurection
“And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.” (Matthew 27:60-61)
Joseph had had a sepulcher carved into the stone of the cliff. He and Nicodemus made a quick preparation of Jesus’ body, and placed in in Joseph’s newly carved tomb. John 19:39-40 describes their efforts. “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. It was as much as they could do with so little notice and the stores all closed. The two Marys had been sitting by observing what they were doing the whole time, and watched as they rolled the stone over the door of the tomb to close it off.
The ladies were not satisfied with Joseph and Nicodemus’ preparation of the body, and went to prepare things so they could do it properly according to Luke 23:54-56. “And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” The ladies spent Friday gathering and preparing the ointments and spices, and rested the Sabbath day, intending to properly embalm the body on Sunday.
“Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” (Matthew 27:62-64)
Friday, the Chief priests and Pharisees met with Pilate, reminding him that Jesus had said he would rise again. They asked Pilate to make sure no one could steal the body and claim he had been raised. They feared that such would make Jesus’ impact even worse than what they were trying to prevent.
“Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.” (Matthew 27:65-66)
Pilate told them to use the guards that had already been assigned to them to do whatever they felt was needed. They placed seals on the door stone to ensure that it was not opened, and placed guards around it to keep anyone away.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (Matthew 28:1-4)
Wanting to get Jesus’ body properly embalmed before the heat made the stench unbearable, the ladies headed to the tomb before sunrise. Luke 24:1 says, “ Lu 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” As they were on their way, there was an earthquake and an angel rolled away the stone. The guards were terrified, afraid to move and call attention to themselves.
Knowing it had taken Joseph and Nicodemus to roll the stone over the door, the ladies were concerned how they were going to get it open, Mark 16:3-5 describes what they found. “And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.”
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.” (Matthew 28:5-8)
When the ladies saw the angel they were just as frightened as the guards had been. The angel showed them where the body had been and told them to go back and tell the disciples that he would meet them in Galilee as he had promised while they were celebrating the Passover in Matthew 26;31-32. The ladies ran to tell the disciples what had happened.
“And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” (Matthew 28:9-10)
As they were leaving, Jesus met them and repeated the instruction to tell his disciples. Luke describes them as having seen two men, and apparently one of them was Jesus. He was still there when Peter and John came to the tomb in John 20, although they did not see him. Mary saw him after they left, and originally thought he was just one of the gardeners.