We’re going through the book of John, verse by verse. Last week we looked at how Jesus was pierced in his side, and how that and other events fulfilled prophecy. (see previous post Him Who They Pierced)
Today we’ll look at how Jesus was buried and how Jesus’ burial fulfilled five prophetic pictures. But before we do, I want to share something about two secret disciples.
Secret Disciples No Longer
Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Jesus because he was afraid of how people might react if they found out how he really felt. He was also a man of influence because he went to Pilate directly and asked for the body of Jesus, and not just anyone could go directly to the governor of the region with a request like that. If I went to see the governor of Oregon they would laugh and send me away. Nicodemus, also a secret disciple of Jesus, and the premiere teacher among all the Rabbis (the one who came to Jesus by night) came on this night to help Joseph.
Joseph and Nicodemus: both afraid of what the people around them would think if they knew they were Jesus followers.
I used to be like that. Outside of church, I was shy about where I stood with Jesus.
“Can you go fishing Sunday morning?” A friend would ask.
“Sorry, I have something going on that day,” I would answer.
I would laugh at off color jokes because I wanted to fit in. If religion came up in a conversation, I became quiet. I was like that for a long time. Too long. It’s a terrible way to live, always wondering if you’re going to be found out. Always wondering if someone one is going to call you out and embarrass you. For me that all went away when I started this blog. When I first began writing about Jesus, I did so with trepidation. What would people think? They’ll probably talk behind my back. Or maybe they’ll attack me directly! I didn’t see it coming but writing about Jesus and publishing these blog posts to the world has been one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. I wonder if Joseph and Nicodemus felt that way after they prepared Jesus’ body and placed it in the “virgin” tomb. Their secret was out after they did that. (If you’re interested in reading more about secret disciples, see this article taken from the book Love Like Jesus)
Nicodemus brought a generous quantity of myrrh and aloes to prepare the body for burial. They took Jesus’ body and bound it in linen cloths with the spices. Near the cross where Jesus was crucified there was a garden and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. They were concerned about how little time they had to care for Jesus’ body, because of the sacred holiday Passover, so they laid Jesus in this nearby tomb.
To me this passage is another in which we find prophetic pictures being fulfilled.
- Jesus was conceived by God in Mary’s virgin womb. Now his body is going to be laid in a “virgin” tomb.
- Jesus was wrapped in linen after he was born. Here we see Jesus wrapped in linen after he died for us.
- When Jesus was born he was placed in a manger hewn out of stone. Here we see Jesus placed in a tomb hewn out of stone.
- In Genesis we see the birth of our sin in the garden of Eden. In the garden of Jesus’ tomb we’re saved from our sin.
- Also in Genesis we see death introduced to humankind. In the garden of Jesus’ tomb we’ll see Jesus overcome death, and not just for himself, but on behalf of you and me too.
I’ve never gone this deep into the book of John and as we’ve examined the last few chapters, I’m amazed at all the prophecy that’s fulfilled in the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Today, in this little passage only five verses long, we see five more.
Next week, we’ll look at what might be the best day ever to happen here on planet earth.
Image of The Burial of Christ by Titian via Wikimedia – public domain
Newly released book by Kurt Bennett, now available on Amazon!
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.
Amazing work you have done here. I am new here, blogging at https://dailycrosswalk.com and I must say that I am truly Inspired by your works. Keep up the great work you do.
God bless you