January 22, 2006
I. Note the power of Christ’s death upon hearts – John 19:38-39
1. Specifically: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, leaders among the Jews, members of the Sanhedrin, rich men – Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51; John 3:1, 4, 9 & 7:50
2. Perhaps a “fear” of losing all they had made them cowardly?
3. Yet, Jesus death seems to have a good affect upon their hearts, sorrow makes us think – Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
“So does trial elicit faith, and the wind, which quenches the feeble flame that plays around the outside, fan into brightness the fire that burns deep within, though for a time unseen” – Alfred Edersheim
4. Mark credits Joseph of Arimathea with “taking courage” – Mark 15:43
5. Some say these men should have been “bold” earlier, yet it was God’s will that Jesus die – Acts 2:22-23; Acts 4:27-28; Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11
6. We should be thankful for such grace that gives us many chances, forgiving a variety of sins – Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 John 1:9
7. Note their action also fulfilled prophecy – Isaiah 53:9
II. Note their preparation of Jesus’ body is an act of love –
1. Even now what they do could hurt their standing among their fellows, yet they do not care, they come boldly – Mark 15:43; Matthew 10:32-33
2. Joseph contributes his own new tomb - Matthew 27:60
3. Nicodemus contributes expensive perfume – John 19:39
4. Some say this was due to lack of faith "He will rise anyway"
5. Yet, I believe it was simply their way of honoring Him – Psalm 2:12; Luke 7:45
6. Their preparation of timely – John 19:42
III. Note there was also a preparation due to hatred and fear – Matthew 27:62-66
1. Note that the works of hatred and fear, lag behind the labors of love – Matthew 27:62
2. None-the-less they are quite diligent to try to cover all their bases –
A. They remembered what Jesus said, it worried them - :63
B. They placed a seal on the stones, the bigger of two stones would be two or three tons, the Roman seal was broken upon pain of death, an extreme on the grave of a dead man.
C. They placed a guard at the grave – Matthew 28:3
D. Yet, as we know none of this kept Jesus down
IV. Note the symbolism connected with Christ’s burial –
1. Christ had been crucified in a garden, would be buried in a garden, He conquer death in a garden – John 19:41
2. In a garden through Adam’s sin our race is plunged to death yet in this garden Christ conquers death – Romans 5:12 & 19
3. In Gethsemane Christ waters the garden with blood and tears, hear He is the grain of Wheat that falls to the earth and dies –
NKJ John 12:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
NKJ John 12:25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. 27 " Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
4. Here we note Christ gives us an example to follow – Philippians 2:1-11
5. Note also by dying Christ sanctifies and gains victory of the grave – 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
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