"So they (Joseph and Nicodemus) took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews" (John 19:40). Read John 19:31-42.
Good Friday is drawing to its close. With the Passover quickly approaching, Pilate orders the legs of the crucified men to be broken so they will die quickly. The legs of the two criminals hanging at Jesus' side are broken. But since Jesus is already dead His side is pierced with a spear instead and out flows blood and water-proof that the King of the Jews is truly dead.
That's when a secret disciple of Jesus steps forward. Joseph of Arimathea is a prominent member of the Jewish high court who did not agree with their decision to put Jesus to death. He boldly steps out of the darkness and asks Pilate for permission to bury Jesus' body. Pilate grants it.
Another secret disciple joins him. The Pharisee Nicodemus who had snuck through the darkness of night to talk to Jesus now steps into the light and helps Joseph lay our Lord's body to rest in Joseph's new tomb.
But it is only a rest. Death has no hold over Jesus' body. It cannot even touch His body with the stain of decay. On the third day He will rise to life and live forever.
One day you and I will be laid in our own graves. But for all of us who trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, our future will be the same as His. Our bodies will rest in the grave until He returns; then Jesus will raise us to share paradise with Him forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for hallowing our graves through Your rest in the grave. Fill us with joy and confidence-even in the face of death-so that we will see You with our own eyes when You come to wake our bodies from death. Amen.
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