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  The Great Bible Story #114
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Jesus gets buried

Jacob Ninan
The Jews didn't want anyone to remain on the cross on the Sabbath day, and so they asked the soldiers to break the bones of the legs so that death would come quickly. When they came to Jesus they saw He was already dead, and to make sure, one soldier pierced His side with the spear, and blood and water came out.

Joseph of Arimathea, a rich member of the Jewish Council who had become a disciple of Jesus and who had not agreed with the Council in their decision to put Jesus to death, went and asked Pilate if he could take the body of Jesus from the cross for burial. Pilate wondered if Jesus could be dead so soon, and so he confirmed it with the centurion before he agreed. Then Nicodemus, another member of the Council who had become Jesus' disciple earlier, brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes for embalming the body of Jesus. Together they took down the body from the cross, wrapped it in new linen cloth and put it inside a new tomb in a nearby garden. The entrance of this cave-like tomb was closed by rolling a huge stone at the entrance. The women who were with Jesus as He died on the cross came and saw the tomb and returned home to prepare perfumes for the body before the Sabbath could start in the evening, so that after the Sabbath they could go and anoint the body.

Then some of the chief priests and the other leaders remembered vaguely that Jesus had said something about rising from the dead after three days. They knew that if this happened they would not be able to stop people from following Jesus. So they went to Pilate and told him what Jesus had said, and requested him to put some soldiers to stand guard over the tomb so that the disciples of Jesus would not be able to steal away the body of Jesus and later claim that Jesus had risen from the dead! Pilate could not be bothered, and he asked them to use their own Temple guards. So they placed some guards outside the tomb to protect it from any vandalism.

What we see is that the disciples were not really expecting Jesus to rise from the dead because they had not really understood what He had told them. They were only planning to embalm the body. They themselves were in hiding from the Jews because of fear that they too might be caught. What the Jewish leaders actually achieved by placing guards before the tomb and ensuring the body could not be taken away was to authenticate the fact of the resurrection of Jesus when it actually took place!


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Comfort & Counsel