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A Secret Disciple
Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin. He was not in agreement with them...in fact he was a secret disciple. At some point, a true disciple will muster the courage to identify with Christ.
Obtaining the Body
Joseph went straight to Pilate and requested the body of Jesus. Pilate wanted to confirm the death of Jesus and the others. Once he was satisfied that Jesus was dead, he gave permission to Joseph and Nicodemus to take the body.
Joseph and Nicodemus had obtained a burial shroud and about 100 pounds of burial spices. They would have washed Jesus' body, anointed Him and wrapped Him from head to toe in the burial cloth. It would have been done with some haste since Sabbath began at 6pm.
Securing the Tomb
The desire of these self-absorbed rulers was still driving them. They didn't want people following Jesus in life or in death! Their envy may have been tinged by fear given all the supernatural events on Friday.
They wanted the Tomb made secure until the third day. They wanted it sealed and they wanted a guard. Pilate did what they requested...doubtful it was necessary but hopeful it would restore peace in the city.
If Jesus wasn't buried, He wasn't dead. If He wasn't dead, the penalty for sins hasn't been paid. If He wasn't dead, there was no resurrection and if there was no resurrection, there will be no resurrection and "this is it." Our faith depends upon each step.
Has the significance of the burial of Jesus settled in your heart?
If you are a Christian, how is the death and burial of Jesus affecting your daily hope?