57 When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released. 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean , fine linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb.
42 When it was already evening, because it was preparation day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, came and boldly went in to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him whether He had already died. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he gave the corpse to Joseph. 46 After he bought some fine linen, he took Him down and wrapped Him in the linen. Then he placed Him in a tomb cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
50 There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. 54 It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
31 Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men’s legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with Him. 33 When they came to Jesus, they did not break His legs since they saw that He was already dead. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth. 36 For these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: Not one of His bones will be broken. 37 Also, another Scripture says: They will look at the One they pierced. 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus—but secretly because of his fear of the Jews—asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took His body away. 39 Nicodemus (who had previously come to Him at night) also came, bringing a mixture of about 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes. 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 There was a garden in the place where He was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. 42 They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation and since the tomb was nearby.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Since it was the preparation day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special day). They requested that Pilate have the men’s legs broken and that their bodies be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other one who had been crucified with Him. When they came to Jesus, they did not break His legs since they saw that He was already dead. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth.
All four gospels record the burial of Jesus. They all mention Joseph of Arimathea and the women of Galilee (John just says “they”), who prepared Jesus’ body for burial and the garden tomb.
But let’s focus on the most important thing they record: Jesus died and was buried.
We celebrate, as we should, the resurrection of Jesus and the defeat of death itself. Paul states in Romans 6:4: “…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.”
And in Colossians 2:12-13 he says again that both the burial and the resurrection of Jesus are our own burial and resurrection in Christ as well. As He was raised, so we are raised.
But he also says this: “Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3). He states here that we first identify first with Jesus in His death. As a matter of fact, in Romans 6, he uses the word death about eight times. It’s Jesus’ death he makes a big deal of. Why?
There have been lots and lots of books written on that subject by many wise men and women! But in essence it’s this: our pardon and forgiveness of our sinful choices were accomplished in His death.
The removal of God’s wrath on your sin and mine was secured in His substitutionary death. The very beginning of our life in Christ begins at His death. How? Just as he was raised, so we are raised; but also just as He died and was buried, we died and were buried.
How is that possible? I’m still walking around alive and following Christ. But if I’m in Christ, I am “a new creation, the old has gone and look, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Paul says to count yourself dead, dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11).
Brother and sister in Christ, that which you were before you surrendered your life to Jesus is dead, dead, dead, and buried. At each baptism service we say, “Buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life,” symbolizing this truth.
The way of life you led before faith in Christ is dead. That thought process, ruled by sinful desire, and that “body of flesh,” run ragged by lust and all things evil, is dead, dead in Christ Jesus. Count it so.
The new has now come! You aren’t ruled by sin, though you may choose to sin (not without grief of spirit and consequence). That isn’t you anymore. That’s the old way of living.
At the Lord’s Supper (communion), Paul says we must proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Corinthians 11:26). Why? His death and burial are our death and burial in that we die to the sinful way of living that we were caught in and unable to be free of on our own before our rescue in Christ Jesus.
His death secured our pardon from God’s wrath and due punishment over all the ungodly things we ever thought and did. His resurrection is also ours as well to live new lives now, marked by freedom and joy until we meet Him face to face when our time here is done.
Live your life today as one dead—dead to sin and alive to God. Don’t let sin reign in your “mortal bodies,” your words and actions. Don’t submit yourselves again to a yoke of slavery that you were freed from in Christ Jesus (Galatians 5:1).
You’ve been made alive, Christian—set free! But you died to sin’s dominion before you were made alive in Christ Jesus.
Sing the old hymn with me, “It Is Well With My Soul.” Come on, sing it:
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
- Are my words and deeds marked by my death and burial in Christ, death to the old way of living? Or do I submit myself again to a yoke of slavery in my thoughts and deeds and in how I approach God?
- Does my death to sin figure into the story I tell of my own salvation in Jesus Christ?
- Read Colossians or Romans sometime and underline the words “death” or “dead” each time they are used. There are lots of them! What does it mean that as Christ died and was buried, we also died and were buried, and just as He was raised, we are also raised?