- This all happened on Friday.
– The details given in the gospel accounts all have a meaning and a purpose. There are many Jewish laws, traditions, and customs going on here that are worth knowing about.
– Remember why the gospels were written down:
– Luke 1:4, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.
– John 20:31, But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
– Verse 42, “Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath.”
– Every Friday is a “day of preparation” before the Sabbath, because you aren’t allowed to do any work on Saturday, like cooking, cleaning, mowing your lawn, etc… (10 Commandments)
– This is a special preparation day because they are in the middle of the Passover week, which begins with the Passover Meal, and continues through the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
– Passover: Final plague, death angle skipped the houses with “the blood of the lamb”.
– Unleavened Bread: When Israel fled in the desert, God fed them with “daily bread”.
– “As evening approached…“
– Because the crucifixion was happening on a Friday, and the next day is a “day of rest”, they have a lot of work to do before the Friday ends.
– Deut. 21:22-23, “If someone has committed a crime worthy of death and is executed and hung on a tree, the body must not remain hanging from the tree overnight. You must bury the body that same day…”
– Crucifixion could last days while the victim suffers and finally dies, that’s why the legs of the criminals had to be broken, so they would die faster. Jesus was already dead.
– Pilate was surprised that Jesus had already died, but he shouldn’t have been. After the severe beating Jesus had already received, it took great strength to even make it to the cross!
– Verse 47, “Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.”
– Mary and Mary have been eye witnesses to the whole process of Jesus’ ministry and miracles, the crucifixion, death, burial, and his resurrection.
– They were right there when he died on the cross (verse 15:40), watched as he was buried (15:47), and the first ones to see that the tomb was empty early Sunday morning. (Ch. 16)
– They were the ones to report the good news to the disciples, and Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the risen Savior.
– From having demons cast out of her, to being the first to see Jesus after the resurection.
- Joseph takes a risk.
– Mark 15:43, “Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.”
– Joseph of Arimathea was an honored member of the high council.
– Luke says that he was a good and righteous man who was also courageous.
– Matthew describes him as a wealthy and influential leader in Jerusalem.
– John 19:38, Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders)…
– Luke 23:51, He was a member of the Jewish high council, 51 but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders.
– There also was Nicodemus.
– John 3:1, There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. (He was also highly respected, wealthy, and powerful.)
– John 7:50-51, Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked. (Jesus explained “born again”)
– John 19:39, With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.
– Both of these men disagreed with, and challenged the decisions of the High Council.
– Both of them were powerful pharisees that are now secret believers in Jesus as the Christ.
– NOW they are both bravely stepping forward to bury Jesus, in front of a hostile and murderous religious culture.
– Joseph has humbly asked for Jesus’ body, and then laid Jesus in his OWN tomb.
– Nicodemus brings enough perfumes and spices to bury a KING.
– THIS IS A BIG RISK and took courage! If they are identified as believers they could lose everything, including their lives.
– We live in a hostile and murderous religious culture today!
– In many areas of the world Christians are being persecuted and murdered daily. You are either a secret Christian, or a dead Christian.
– In America, if you are an outspoken Christian you may be “culturally killed”.
– Bashed in the media, defamed, slandered, mocked, and “left for dead”.
– In this religious culture of “tolerance and acceptance”, the only thing not to be tolerated or accepted is unapologetic faith in Jesus.
* The culture violates the one thing it values most to silence the ones it believes don’t value it. Exactly like the pharisees did when they wanted to murder the apostles in Acts chapter 5.
– Take a risk and boldly identify yourself with Jesus, like Joseph did, even if it leads to hardship!
– 2 Tim. 2:12, If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.
- Jesus replaced Joseph in the tomb.
– Mark 15:46, “Joseph… took Jesus’ body… and laid it in a tomb…”
– Not just ANY tomb. Matt 27:60, “He placed (Jesus) in his own new tomb…”
– Pastor matt preached a few weeks ago about Simon carrying the physical cross of Jesus.
– Just as Simon helped carry Christ’s physical cross and suffered with him, we carry our own cross, but we are really just partnering with Christ and sharing in His suffering.
– What Simon did physically, we do spiritually.
– 1 Peter 4:13, Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
– This is similar, when Joseph lays Jesus in the tomb that was meant for his own death.
– Jesus physically replaces Joseph in the grave!
– Like Joseph had done physically, we must do spiritually. Jesus took our place in death so that we could be dead to sin.
– 1 Peter 2:24, He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
– Jesus took OUR place in the grave, so by it we can have eternal life in His name!
– Isaiah 53:5, But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
– 1 Thess. 5:10, Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.
– 2 Cor. 5:15, He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
– Your response to the revelation that Jesus has taken your place in the grave is to REPENT!
– Acts 3:18-19, But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. 19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
– Be bold like Joseph, take a risk and step out in your faith in Jesus.
– Jesus was spiritually buried in you place, so you can spiritually live for him.