Matthew 27:57-61 (NIV)
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
This passage documents the historical event of Jesus’ burial: Joseph took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped him in a clean burial cloth, placed him in his own tomb and closed it. This is all very nice and neat.
But I wonder what Joseph was feeling at the time he was doing this. Had he lost hope? Did he worry about his future? Did he doubt his faith in Jesus? Burying who he thought was the Messiah, he must have wondered who was going to save them now. In verse 60 it says Joseph “rolled a great stone across the entrance and left”. The finality of death.
But for God, death precedes new life.
When Jesus died, he took all our sin and shame and nailed it to the cross. When he was buried, he buried the old Adam, the old nature. Jesus did this for all of us. Our sin and shame have been buried and left behind in the tomb.
In the coming passages, we know that God will resurrect Jesus. We know that new Life will come.
But for now, reading this burial passage, let us be reminded that some things remain in the tomb. Our feelings of sin and shame have been dealt with, so leave them there.
Father, I thank you that you have dealt with my sin and shame through Jesus’ death. Holy Spirit help me not to pick up these old feelings and instead live in the power of Jesus’ resurrection life!
Written by Gab Martin