(If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click Here – 215 The Burial of Jesus)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
August 4, 2019
The Burial of Jesus
Matthew 27:51-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:31-42
Last Sunday we examined the details of Jesus’ crucifixion from all four gospel accounts. (See: The Crucifixion of Jesus). This morning we are going to again examine all four gospel accounts in regard to the events immediately following Jesus’ death and His burial. In doing so we will again see God’s hand at work in both supernatural miracles and in His providence, which in many ways, is an even greater demonstration of God’s sovereignty as He directs the details and precise timing of events to fulfill His prophetic word. I will be pointing out the fulfilled prophecies as we go through the texts.
I will also stress the evidence that Jesus was actually dead since it is common to find skeptics that refuse to believe the resurrection by claiming Jesus was not dead when He was put in the tomb. I begin this morning with the signs that occurred immediately after Jesus’ death proving that Jesus was no ordinary man and that God was doing an extraordinary work.
Signs Following Jesus’ Death – Matthew 27:51-53, Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45b
Remember from last week that Jesus was not a victim. He was doing just as He had said in laying down His life on His own initiative and that no one was taking it from Him (John 10:18). Jesus died at the timing of His choice and not because of the crucifixion itself. After Jesus fulfilled the final prophecy concerning His crucifixion, He cried out, “It is Finished,” then, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit,” and then He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Immediately after this some more amazing things happened.
Matthew 27:51-53, And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, 52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The first sign mentioned signified the change in God’s relationship with man. The veil in the Temple excluded man from the Holy of Holies. Only the High Priest could enter it and only once a year on the Day of Atonement. The perfect sacrifice of atonement had now been made by Jesus’ death and He became the perfect High Priest for every believer (Hebrews). The veil separating man from God is torn in two allowing everyone that trusts in Christ and His sacrifice to enter directly into God’s presence (Hebrews 10:19).
Matthew’s description indicates that the veil tore before the earthquake and that it tore from the top to the bottom. It did not tear from being worn, due to age or the earthquake, but because God had it torn and He did it while the Temple would have been full of priests and worshipers making their Passover sacrifices. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, believers can now “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
The second sign after Jesus’ death was a great earthquake. God often marked important events with earthquakes. Mount Sinai quaked when Moses met God there (Exod. 19). The ground quaked when God met Elijah in the cave (1 Kings 19:10). Isaiah speaks of the Lord punishing his people through “thunder and earthquake and loud noise” (Isa. 29:6). Revelation 6:13-14 speaks of an earthquake so strong that the mountains and islands will flee. This earthquake that split stones let people know that God was at work.
The third sign was the opening of tombs and some of the bodies of previously dead saints were raised up. After Jesus’ resurrection, they came out of the tombs and appeared in Jerusalem. That may sound like something from a horror film, but it is in reality a wonderful foretaste of the promised resurrection of all the saints in the future. These select individuals experienced early the hope of resurrection of all those who trust Christ for salvation. Let me quickly add here that those who do not believe this actually happened have traded in the wisdom of God for the wisdom of men and they do not believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible despite their false claims. Beware of such people for their teaching is false because they are either ignorant, deceived, or charlatans.
Testimony of Those Present – Matthew 27:54-56, Mark 15:39-40, Luke 23:47-49
The religious leaders continued to ignore the obvious message of all these supernatural signs, but the soldiers did not. Matthew 27:54, Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” The centurion spoke for the rest of the group. They had heard the testimony about Jesus earlier. They had heard Pilate’s verdict. They had watched Jesus on the cross and heard all that He said. Now they experienced these supernatural wonders and become convinced that Jesus is who the chief priests and elders had been mocking Him to be, the Son of God. It is very possible they understood this in its fullest sense since that is a confession that only God could really put in their hearts. Luke 23:47 adds that he was also “praising God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’”
As I noted last week, present at the crucifixion were John and four women that had followed and ministered to Jesus in Galilee. Comparison of Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:49 and John 19:25-27 identifies these four women as Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James the less and Joseph (Joses) who is also the wife of Clopas, and Jesus’ aunt, Salome, who is the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John. However, after Jesus has died, neither Matthew or Mark include John or Mary, Jesus’ mother, as being present. John had apparently taken Mary away.
The continued presence of the other three women indicates a lot about their courageous faith, but now their hearts are filled with sorrow. What were they to do now? Luke 23:48 states, “And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.” These women also depart, perhaps to comfort Mary, Jesus’ mother, with Salome then staying with her sister, but Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses return later to help with Jesus’ initial burial.
Confirmations of Jesus’ Death – John 19:31-37
About the time Jesus is dying, the Chief priests and elders go to Pilate to make another demand. Here again we see God’s providence at work as He weaves together the religious hypocrisy of these Jews with the indifference of Pilate in order to fulfill prophecy.
John 19:31, The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high [day]), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and [that] they might be taken away.
The practice of the Romans was to leave a man on the cross until he was dead and that typically took one to three days. These religious hypocrites were concerned that the men being crucified might profane the high Sabbath the next day if they were still on their crosses. Deuteronomy 21:22-23 is specific that the corpse of an executed criminal could not be left “hanging on a tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.” If this would defile the land on a normal day, how much more so on the Sabbath which God commanded should be kept holy, and even more so on the high Sabbath of Passover.
These hypocrites were very concerned that the Sabbath not be ceremonial defiled in such a manner, but they had already defiled Passover itself by their disregard of the Law of Moses in the trial and execution of Jesus and therefore polluting the land with innocent blood. But that is the nature of religious hypocrisy. Their request is for Pilate to have the legs of those being crucified broken resulting in a quicker death so their bodies could be removed from the crosses before the Sabbath would begin in a few hours.
Pilate granted their demand. John 19:32 records, “The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the other man who was crucified with Him.” Remember that crucifixion kills by the means of a slow suffocation. If the legs are broken, the one being crucified cannot use his legs to push up to get a breath and therefore will quickly suffocate. This breaking of the bones (called a crurifragium) was done by hitting the leg at the instep with a hammer or mallet to shatter it. The pain would be excruciating, yet it would often be the coup de grace that would end the suffering of crucifixion that might otherwise have lasted many more hours or even days.
After they broke the legs of the two thieves, they came to Jesus. John 19:33-37, “but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
This initial assessment by these Roman soldiers is the professional testimony that Jesus was dead. These were men well acquainted with death by crucifixion. John points out that this detail about the legs of the thieves being broken but Jesus being left alone fulfills another prophecy. Psalm 34:20 states specifically that “He keeps all His bones, Not one shall be broken.” This was also in keeping with the typeology of Jesus as the Passover Lamb, for Exodus 12:46 and Number 9:12 both specifically state that none of a Passover lamb’s bones were to be broken. Jesus was now dead, but even here it is God that is in control to make sure that all prophecy would be fulfilled.
Alfred Edershiem in his book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, points out that after crushing the legs of those being crucified, the soldiers would often also deliver what was often called the “death stroke.” They would thrust their spear in the side and through the heart of the person to ensure death. The soldier had no reason to do this in that he had already declared that Jesus was dead, but he did it anyway and found that blood and water flowed out. Jesus had already been dead for a while. The soldier unwittingly fulfilled the prophecies of Psalm 22:16 and Zechariah 12:10 and also confirmed beyond doubt that Jesus was dead. The wound was so deep that after the resurrection Jesus invited Thomas to place his hand in it. God’s hand moves in the details of circumstances, timing and the life of a Roman soldier to ensure that what He had previously said through the prophets would be fulfilled.
One theory has been proposed that this spear thrust is what killed Jesus, but such is the foolishness of those that delight in revealing their own minds rather than to consult with those who might know better. The flow of the blood and water is medical evidence of both death and the cause of it. Over the years several medical doctors have commented on this unusual phenomena. I will quote from the findings of Alexander Metherell, M.D., PH.D. as quoted in The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.
In crucifixion, “As the person slows down his breathing, he goes into what is called respiratory acidosis – the carbon dioxide in his blood is dissolved as carbonic acid, causing the acidity of the blood to increase. This eventually leads to irregular heartbeat. In fact, with His heart beating erratically, Jesus would have known that he was at the moment of death, which is when he was able to say, ‘Lord, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ And then He died of cardiac arrest.”
Dr. Metherell also said, “Even before He died, the hypovolemic shock would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have contributed to heart failure resulting in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart, called a pericardial effusion, as well as around the lungs, called a pleural effusion.” When the Roman soldier thrust the spear into Jesus it “apparently went through the right lung and into the heart, so when the spear was pulled out some fluid – the pericardial effusion and the pleural effusion – came out. This would have the appearance of a clear fluid, like water, followed by a large volume of blood.”
And as Dr. Stuart Bergsma has pointed out, if Jesus had still been alive when the spear was thrust into Him, only blood would have come out. Jesus was already dead when He was speared.
The apostle John emphasizes the validity of what he wrote for he was an eye witness of all these events. This first person testimony removes all doubt that Jesus was dead on the cross prior to the soldier thrusting his spear into Him. To claim that Jesus did not die on the cross is sheer foolishness and only reveals the senseless speculations of those who refuse to believe the truth regardless of the evidence presented to them
Burial of Jesus’ Body – Matthew 27:57-61 ; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Now that Jesus was dead, what was to be done with his body? The religious leaders did not care as long as His and those of the two thieves were taken off the crosses. The Roman’s normal practice was to throw the bodies into a common grave for criminals. This was apparently the plan Jesus’ enemies had for Him for Isaiah 53:9 predicted, “His grave was assigned with wicked men.” These graves were often left open and animals would scavenge the bodies as food. The Romans might just as easily throw the corpses into a burning rubbish heap like the one in the Hinnom Valley not far away. The disrespectful treatment of the body was part of Rome’s warning to all about the consequences of defying its laws, however, occasionally the family of an executed criminal would be allowed to take the body for burial. But who would take care of Jesus’ body? By this time John and the four women that had been at the crucifixion had departed and none of the rest of Jesus’ family or His disciples are recorded as being at Jesus’ crucifixion at anytime.
From the human standpoint, the situation seems hopeless. There is only a short time left before the body must be disposed of, and there is no one around to claim the body. But God’s hand is not short. He had said through the prophet Isaiah that though Jesus grave was assigned with the wicked, the rest of Isaiah 53:9 states, “yet He was with a rich man in death.” God’s providence was still at work.
Matthew 27:57-58, 57 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered [it] to be given over [to him.]
The phrase, “when it was evening” refers to the time of the first evening watch from 3 to 6 p.m. It is just at the proper time that we find a man named Joseph from the city of Arimathea coming to ask for Jesus’ body. The prophecy would be fulfilled, but let us note some of the details of God’s providence at work here. Joseph of Arimathea is stated to be a rich man which is an important aspect of fulfilling the prophecy. Luke 23:50-51 adds that he was a “good and righteous man” who was “waiting for the kingdom of God.”
Second, we note that Joseph is a disciple of Jesus, that is, a follower of Jesus. However, John 19:38 gives a further description saying, “but a secret one for fear of the Jews.” Why would he be afraid? Because the religious leaders hated Jesus so much that they had already said that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue (John 9:22), and the practical result of that would mean being cut off from Jewish society.
Third, we note Mark 15:43 that Joseph was a prominent member of the Council – the Sanhedrin. This would be a further reason for fear. He would already have been at odds with the council because Luke 23:51 notes “he had not consented to their plan and action.”
If it was known that he was actually a follower of Jesus, then he would have most certainly been put out of that council as well. Mark also tells us that Joseph “gathered up his courage” to go to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. The secret disciple would no longer be secret and he would have to be ready to face the consequences.
This is also part of God’s providence. It is doubtful that Pilate would have paid much attention to Joseph except that he was a prominent member of the Council and perhaps making the request on behalf of that council. It was of no consequence to Pilate what happened to Jesus’ body, so if a member of the Sanhedrin wanted it, he could have it. But Pilate was surprised to learn that Jesus was already dead. Mark 15:44-45 states, 44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
Notice again the hand of God in all of this. A fearful rich man who is a secret follower of Jesus finds courage to publicly ask for Jesus’ body. He does so at precisely the right time. Only a short time earlier the Jews had asked Pilate to have the legs of those being crucified broken so that they would die quickly and their bodies taken away. If Joseph had asked later, he would not have had time to bury Jesus before the start of the Sabbath. This is important because Jesus had to be buried before the start of the next day in order for Friday to count as the first day of His three days in the grave. Joseph is also the right man because as a member of the Sanhedrin Pilate would grant his request without delay. This is not by chance, but by God’s sovereign hand.
John 19:39-42, 39 And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night; bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds [weight]. 40 And so they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore on account of the Jewish day of preparation, because the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
We met Nicodemus in John 3. He was a Pharisee and a “ruler of the Jews.” He had come to ask Jesus his questions at night out of fear. He became a follower of Jesus, but he was also quiet about it to this point. Joseph and Nicodemus must have planned this together before Joseph went to Pilate because they act in concert and each are prepared. Joseph provided the linen cloth and his own newly hewn tomb (Matthew 27:59-60). Nicodemus gathered up the necessary burial spices which would have included myrrh and aloe. Myrrh was a fragrant gum from Balsamodendron myrrha and other trees in the Burseraceae family that was made into an oil or perfume. It was one of the gifts brought by the Magi to Jesus when He was a baby (Matthew 2:11). The aloe John mentions here comes from Aloe succotrina, a succulent plant which secretes a bitter fluid used as a purgative and in embalming (Eerdmans Bible Dictionary). Nicodemus came with 100 livtra / litra (a Roman pound ~ 12 ounces, about 75 English pounds) of these spices which were used in the care of the dead as an act of love.
The linen cloth would have been wound around the body, limb by limb, with the spices strewn in. This was the Jewish burial custom. They did not embalm as the Egyptians did. They had to do their work quickly for the Sabbath was quickly approaching. Jesus died about 3 p.m., and it would have taken sometime to get Pilate’s permission and the necessary supplies, and the Sabbath would start at sundown, about 6 p.m.
Matthew 27:60 notes that Joseph laid Jesus “in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock,” and Luke 23:53 notes it was “where no one had ever lain.” The detail shows the fulfillment of an additional prophecy. Psalm 16:10 states, “For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.” This being true, it was only appropriate that Jesus be laid in a new tomb in which there never had been any decay.
The tomb was in a garden that was adjacent to the site of the crucifixion. The garden itself was located in an old limestone quarry just to the west of the Jerusalem wall. The tombs were cut out in the cliff faces of the quarry. Golgotha itself was an area of poor limestone that had not been quarried and therefore now appeared as a small hill next to the garden. It would have looked similar then to what the Garden Tomb next to Gordan’s Calvary looks like now. The tomb would have had a low entrance, and inside there would have been a shelf for preparing the body, and then shafts in the sides of the tomb for placing the body after it had been prepared. The angels would later sit at the head and the feet of the shelf where Jesus’ body had been laid. Both Matthew 27:60 and Mark 15:46 note that the entrance to this tomb had a large stone that could be rolled to block it. This was a typical design for a first century Jewish tomb.
After Joseph and Nicodemus had done what preparations they could do that day, Joseph “rolled a large stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.” Note that both of these “secret disciples” are now boldly identifying with Jesus while all the disciples except John had gone into hiding. In addition, neither of these men were concerned about the ceremonial defilement that would come upon them because of touching a dead body (Numbers 19:16). It was more important to them to demonstrate their love for Jesus by caring for His body. It is also obvious that neither of them understood that Jesus would rise from the dead in just a few short days or they would not have taken such care to prepare Jesus’ body. The burial spices were to lessen the stench of decay, but Jesus would not be dead long enough to decay.
Matthew 27:61and Mark 15:47 notes that “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.” The later Mary was sitting opposite the grave. Luke 23:56 then comments about these two women, “Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” They were getting ready to so they could finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial once the Sabbath was over.
I want to quickly point out a couple of things we can learn and apply to our own lives from the examples set in the way these people cared for Jesus’ body.
First, it is tragic, but too often it takes the death of someone to finally move us to finally express what has been on our hearts and never said or acted upon. Strive to express yourself before death blocks such communication, but if death does block it, then do it anyway. True words and actions of love and loyalty are always appropriate even if they are late in coming.
Second, John and the women were with Jesus to the end. Their hope was that their presence would be a comfort to Him as He suffered. Our society has sanitized death with most people dying in a hospital, hospice or convalescent home, and often alone or only the professionals present. I recognize that may be unavoidable, yet I wonder if our decisions concerning those who are facing death are based more in what is convenient for us instead of what is best before God. Do not be afraid to be there with those who are dying. It will be difficult, but it is a precious ministry of selfless sacrifice to comfort.
Third, even after Jesus’ death, the priority was on the living. John kept the priority Jesus entrusted to him to care for His mother. Others picked up the responsibilities of caring for Jesus’ body. Keep the priorities God has set. We care for and comfort the living first, and then do what is proper for the care of the body of the deceased.
Fourth, Joseph and Nicodemus were willing to bear the personal cost of caring for Jesus’ body. That included being ceremonially defiled, the price of the burial spices, and for Joseph, the use of his tomb as well. These were final acts of love and loyalty. To complain about the inconvenience or the personal cost is to reveal the true nature of your selfish heart.
Fifth, they responded in accordance with the opportunity and their resources. Funerals in that society were very important social affairs and they were not able to even have a funeral or procession. It was simply Joseph, Nicodemus and the two Mary’s doing things as quickly as they could before the Sabbath came. Funerals should not be for show and tell. Your love is not measured in how much you can spend on their funeral, but in what you do within constraints and resources available.
Sixth, their example of care for Jesus’ body demonstrates the proper balance. The body of the deceased is not just remains that need to be disposed of in the most economical manner, but neither is the corpse something that should receive lavish attention. A dead body is the cherished shell that once housed the individual we loved. We treat it with respect out of honor and in the memory of that person.
Joseph and Nicodemus finished their work and rolled the stone against the entrance to the tomb and then went on their way. The two Marys remained a little while longer sitting opposite the grave, as many of us might be apt to do at the grave of a loved one as sorrow fills our heart and we find it hard to let go and say goodbye.
Protection of Jesus’ Body – Matthew 27:61-66
Matthew next points out the precautions Jesus’ enemies take to make sure that Jesus stays in the tomb.
62 Now on the next day, which is [the one] after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I [am to] rise again.’ 64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it [as] secure as you know how.” 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.
This is the only activity that takes place on Saturday, the Sabbath. Amazingly, the chief priests, which are mostly Sadducees, and Pharisees have joined forces for the second time. They are theological enemies and generally at odds with each other, but they do have a common interest. They hate Jesus, as evidenced here by the fact that they only refer to Him as “that deceiver.” They want to make sure that there is no possibility that Jesus’ disciples might come and steal Jesus’ body and thus begin a deception that Jesus had been raised from the dead as He had claimed He would be. They were so intent on this that though it is now the high Sabbath, they are unconcerned about the risk of being defiled by meeting with Pilate if it will accomplish their goal.
They did not have anything to fear from the disciples because they were still in hiding. It is strange that the disciples had failed to understand and believe what Jesus had told them in plain language about His resurrection whereas the Sadducees and Pharisees understood and remembered though they were told in figurative language.
Pilate agrees to their request because he recognizes that if a deception could be pulled off that the King of the Jews had conquered death and was therefore invincible, he could end up with a serious rebellion on his hands. He tells them to take a guard. This is a Roman guard, not a Jewish Temple guard, which would have no authority outside the Temple and which would not be answerable to Pilate. The guard is stationed and an official seal is placed on the tomb. This would be either made of clay or wax in which an official emblem of Rome has been impressed into it. To break the seal is to defy Rome. No one would dare to break it.
Again we see God’s hand at work even through His enemies. They had placed the guard and set the seal to prevent a hoax from being perpetrated, but God had it done as an added factor in proving that there was no hoax and the resurrection really did take place.
We serve a sovereign God who can work both supernaturally and also orchestrate all the details of circumstances and many lives, including those of His enemies, to achieve His will. This is what backs up the great truth of Romans 8:28 that “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Even when we do not understand the things we or those we love may be going through, we can rest with certainty that God knows what He is doing and that He will work it out in both His and our best interest, if we are one of those that love God. The amazing burial of Jesus demonstrates that.
Those that deny that Jesus died do so in the effort to also deny that He rose from the dead. But the evidence affirms the truth. The testimony of the centurion, the soldiers, and the physical evidence of blood and water after being pierced with the spear all prove Jesus really did die. He really was buried with His body being partially prepared and placed in Joseph’s tomb. Next week we will see that Jesus really did rise from the dead and came out of the tomb bringing joy and hope to all who will believe.
Sermon Notes – August 4, 2019
The Burial of Jesus – Matthew 27:51-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:31-42
God’s hand is seen at work in both supernatural miracles and His _____________
Signs Following Jesus’ Death – Matthew 27:51-53, Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45b
The tearing of the veil in the temple signified man being able to _________God through the blood of Christ
The veil was torn from top to bottom – it was not torn by __________ causes
A great earthquake signified God was at ________- (see Exodus 19; Isaiah 29:6; Revelation 6:13-14)
The opening of the tombs and bodies of saints coming forth signified the promise of future _____________
Testimony of Those Present – Matthew 27:54-56, Mark 15:39-40, Luke 23:47-49
The centurion – Truly this was the ____________(Mt. 27:54), Certainly this man was innocent (Luke 23:47)
John and the four women – Jesus’ mother, Jesus’ _______Salome, Mary Magdalene & Mary, wife of Clopas
The presence of these women demonstrated their ____________faith and belief in Jesus
Confirmations of Jesus’ Death – John 19:31-37
God uses the religious hypocrisy of the Jewish religious leader and Pilate’s indifference to _______prophecy
The Romans would leave crucified men on crosses for _____- but the Jews want them dead & down quickly
They were concerned about ceremonial uncleanness, yet they ___________the land with innocent blood
Pilate granted their request, and breaking their legs would lead to them _________suffocating in crucifixion
The soldiers assessed that Jesus was _________and so did not break His legs – fulfilling Psalm 34:20
Piercing Jesus with his spear, the soldier unwittingly _______the prophecies of Psalm 22:16 & Zech. 12:10
The spear thrust did not kill Jesus, for the blood and water that flowed out proved He was ___________dead
If Jesus had still been alive, ________ blood would have flowed out
John affirms the validity of what he wrote because he was an _____________ to it
Burial of Jesus’ Body – Matthew 27:57-61 ; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
The normal practice was to throw crucified criminals into an open ________grave – this fulfilled Isaiah 53:9
Families might be able to claim a body for burial, but no family members (or disciples) were ____________
God’s providence was at work to ____________ Isaiah 53:9 through Joseph of Arimathea – a rich man
“Evening” refers to the first evening watch from 3-6 pm. It was just at the ___________ time
Joseph is a “_________” disciple of Jesus because he feared the Jews would put him out of the synagogue
Joseph was a prominent member of the Council – and he “gathered up his _________” to go to Pilate
Pilate granted Jesus’ body to Joseph after confirming Jesus was __________________
All these details demonstrate God’s ____________- Jesus had to be buried before the Sabbath started
___________, another “secret” disciples and “ruler of the Jews” helped Joseph by bringing the burial spices
The linen cloth would have been wound ___________the body, and limb by limb with spices strewn in
Joseph put Jesus in his own new tomb – ____________ Psalm 16:10. There was no decay present
The tomb was in a __________ that was adjacent to Golgotha – the site of the crucifixion
It is described as a _________ first century tomb with a stone that could be rolled like a door its entrance
These “secret” disciples __________identify with Jesus while ten of Jesus’ chosen disciples were hiding
Mary Magdalene & Mary the mother of Joses were also present – noting the _______& then preparing spices
1) Strive to express yourself __________ death blocks such communication
2) Do not be afraid to be _____________ to comfort those who are dying
3) Keep _________ priorities – the living are to be comforted first, then care of the deceased
4) Be willing to bear the _________ (financial & emotional) of final acts of love and loyalty
5) Respond in accordance with your opportunity and ____________
6) Stay _______, the corpse is just the leftover shell, but it is cherished because it once housed the loved one
Joseph & Nicodemus finished and rolled the _____against the entrance & departed. The Marys stayed longer
Protection of Jesus’ Body – Matthew 27:61-66
The Sadducees & Pharisees join forces on the Sabbath & risk defilement to ensure _________at Jesus’ tomb
The disciples are ____________ and in hiding not understanding Jesus’ promise of resurrection
Pilate grants their request furnishing a ___________ guard to secure the tomb
God uses the security at the tomb to ensure there could be no hoax and thus __________ the resurrection
God is _____________and works both supernaturally and through His providence to ensure His will is done
Jesus’ death is denied in order to deny His resurrection – but the __________proves Jesus died & was buried
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned 2) Talk with your parents about the evidence that Jesus really did die and was buried.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Who was in control of the timing of Jesus’ death? Three events happened immediately after Jesus died. What is the significance of each? 1) The veil of the temple tearing in two from the top to the bottom. 2) The earthquake. 3) Tombs opening and bodies of saints being raised and appearing in Jerusalem. What was the testimony of the Centurion about Jesus? Who was present at Jesus’ crucifixion? Which women were still there after Jesus’ died? Why did the Jews want the legs of those being crucified broken? Why was that hypocritical? Why do you think Pilate would grant their demand? Why didn’t the soldiers break Jesus’ legs? What prophecies did that fulfill? Why did the soldier pierce Jesus with a spear? What prophecy did that fulfill? What came out of Jesus? How does that prove Jesus was already dead? Why does John emphasize that he was an eyewitness? What would normally be done with the bodies of those crucified? What prophecy did that fulfill? Who is Joseph of Arimathea? Why did he request Jesus’ body? Why was that dangerous for him? Why did Pilate grant his request? What prophecy did he fulfill? Who helped Joseph with Jesus’ initial burial? Why did they need so much myrrh and aloes? How would Jesus’ body have been wrapped? How do the Scriptures describe the tomb? What did it have a large rolling stone? What lessons of application can be learned from the events surrounding Jesus’ burial? Why did the Jews want a guard set at the tomb? How did God use that for His own purposes? How does Jesus’ burial demonstrate God’s sovereignty?
If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office