John 19 - Part V
The Burial: John 19:38-42: 38. And after this Joseph of
Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews,
besought Pilate that
he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore,
and took the body of Jesus. Joseph was also rich (Matthew 27:57) and
an honorable counselor (of the Jews) waiting for the Kingdom of God,
who went boldly before
Pilate to request the body of Jesus (Mark 15:43). He did not consent
to the counsel and deed of those who condemned Jesus (Luke 23:51). Pilate
marveled that Jesus
was dead so quickly and would not release the body until he had it confirmed
by a Roman centurion (Mark 15:44-45).
39. And there came also Nicodemus, who at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound (weight). 40. 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. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, as well as a teacher in Israel, who came to Jesus by night seeking to know more about Jesus. Joseph and Nicodemus were able to accomplish the burial of Jesus, whereas his followers likely would not be able, also fulfilling prophecy (Isaiah 53:9). The time before Sabbath was short, so Joseph and Nicodemus, who furnished spices, wrapped the body with linen, adding spices. Some of the women, who observed where Jesus was buried (Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55-56), planned to return after the Sabbath and finish the preparation of the body. And they said, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher (Mark 16:3)
41. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. 42. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand. Joseph and Nicodemus were rich men. A spiritual lesson in that it is how when we begin our spiritual journey - we are rich in our own understanding.
The Tomb: Matthew 27:60, 62-66: And laid it (body of Jesus) in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.... 62. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64. Command therefore that the sepulcher 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. 65. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The result: Because of the Jewish leader’s concern, they sealed the great stone covering the entrance of the tomb, and obtained a Roman watch which they judged sufficient of enough soldiers to guard the tomb. Think of the wisdom of God portrayed in the burial of Jesus. The Savior’s burial was in such a matter as to avoid the possibility of deception. Both Pilate and the Jews were satisfied that the place of his sepulcher was made sure, expressly to prevent forceful removal of the body. God used the very enemies of Jesus, who took every precaution to place his resurrection beyond suspicion, which precautions were the very means of furnishing the most striking proof that his death, burial and resurrection were not things imposed by man, but awesome realities of God’s sovereignty and infinite love for mankind. Even more so, the event of being sealed by a great stone in a rock cave with a Roman guard has an important lesson when viewed metaphorically.
The metaphor: Jesus lay dead in a hole in a rock and sealed by a great stone. A rock/stone is a spiritual concept. Jesus is the rock (1Corinthians 10:4), the foundation cornerstone on which the true church is built (Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 20:20; Matthew 16:16-18). Man, however, has buried him in their own concepts, sealed by one great concept. The great concept varies with the organization. It could be one of several doctrines, such as the Trinity, Oneness, a created Son, a Son with no pre-existence before his birth in Bethlehem, or that the first advent of the Messiah is yet future, all of which make the true Christ dead to the believer. The major doctrine, believed by most, is the Trinity, held and promoted by the Roman Catholic Church, the organization which replaced Pagan Rome, and which is the primary guardian of the Trinity doctrine. However, Christ lies dead in our hearts because of this way of thinking, until such a time God sends a messenger to roll away the stone (Matthew 28:2). That, is a major shaking for those who have ears to hear.
An allegory: Matthew 2:1-2: 1. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem (house of bread h1035) of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. East is a symbol for self - the wise men came from the east. Job 15:2-3: 2. Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly (mind, Proverbs 18:8) with the east wind? 3. Should he reason with unprofitable talk? or with speeches wherewith he can do no good?
Proverbs 1:5: A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man
of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
Proverbs 9:9: Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Ecclesiastes 2:14: The wise man's eyes (understanding, Ephesians 1:18) are in his head; but the fool walks in darkness...
1Corinthians 11:3: But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ...
Ecclesiastes 10:12: The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips
of a fool will swallow up himself.
Jeremiah 9:23-24: 23. Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24. But let him that glories, glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
The tomb/grave is a figure of the mind of person who yet lacks the correct
understanding of Jesus as the Son of God, which also includes his death and
resurrection. Christ lies dead in the streets of the mind, sealed by Roman
concepts, which keep the truth hidden from the eyes until such time a messenger
rolls away the false spiritual concept and allows the light to shine out of
Isaiah 9:2: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
2Corinthians 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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