The Seal on the Tomb
To protect a letter, you seal the envelope. To keep air out of a jar, you seal its mouth with a rubber ringed lid. To keep oxygen from the wine, you seal the opening with cork and wax. To seal a deal, you might sign a contract or notarize a signature. Sealing declares ownership and secures contents.
The most famous New Testament “sealing” occurred with the tomb of Jesus. Roman soldiers rolled a rock over the entrance and “set a seal on the stone” (Matthew 27:66 NASB). Archaeologists envision two ribbons stretched in front of the entrance, glued together with hardened wax that bore the imprimatur of the Roman government—SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus)—as if to say, “Stay away! The contents of this tomb belong to Rome.” Their seal, of course, proved futile.