After hours of trials, mockery, torture, and crucifixion, Jesus was dead. He'd “given up his spirit,” since no one could ever take it from him. Some theologians have theorized that since he had never sinned, and had never come under sin’s dominion, he wasn’t subject to death, and would thus have never died until he submitted to death. This makes sense to me, since he had said that no one would take his life from him, since he would lay it down of his own accord.
Now he had to be buried. Here are some points to gather:
• Again we see the complete care--down the smallest detail--with which the Lord fulfilled the words of his servants the prophets. Isaiah had predicted that the Messiah would be buried with the “rich in his death.” Unless Joseph had intervened, his body would've been cast into a mass grave, probably to decay quickly since it would be exposed more to the elements and scavengers. But since the Psalmist had also predicted that his body would not see decay, he had to be preserved for the three days.
• This passage, despite our natural reaction of sorrow in reading the details of his burial, actually can provide some comfort. The first reason it encourages me is because this reminds me that the Lord has his servants in the shadows. We know nothing about this man, except that he'd been a secret follower of Jesus. Probably no one knew that he was a follower except for Jesus and himself, until this moment. He'd feared the Jews, but now, by asking for his body, he was basically proclaiming himself a disciple. God has many secret followers, who don’t always proclaim themselves publicly. This isn’t ideal, I suppose, but we should take heart that the Lord, and thus we, have more friends than we know of.
• It also reminds me that all the plans of the Enemy and wicked men against our Lord actually turn out for his glory. The religious leaders wanted to make sure that the disciples didn’t steal his body and thus claim he had risen (as if that was on their minds at the moment!). So they set the seal on the tomb and posted Roman guards at the entrance. So what did they end up accomplishing? All they did was provide evidence that Jesus rose from the dead! Our God reigns, and does not accomplish his purposes despite the best efforts of the Enemy, but because of them! So take heart.
Father God, you're in charge, and I’m not, and that makes me verrrry glad. Help me to trust you.
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