The Burial of Jesus – John 19:38-42 // Matt 27:57-61 // Mark 15:42-47 // Luke 23:50-56
38Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away.39With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.40Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth.41The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before.42And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
Jesus apostles and friends had all abandoned him. None were brave enough to even bury him. No, he is buried by two men who only found the courage to claim him after he died. Jesus’ death changes people. The cross changes people. Nicodemus and Joseph found courage and strength in the crucifixion…and so can we.
The power of the cross is impossible to describe. We each need to come to the place of seeing Jesus die for us in our hearts. We need to come to grips with what he did in that place and time for us. I am quite certain Nicodemus and Joseph didn’t understand everything just perfectly, but I bet the knew this was a pivotal moment in history. They changed. Perhaps they heard Jesus say “My God My God why have you abandoned me?” and remembered Psalm 22, which they would have known by heart. Perhaps it was something else. But the crucifixion changed them and it can change you too.
Lord, let me come to your cross. Give me the courage to come, and claim you, and most importantly, to be change by. Change me Lord, change me. *obbs*