Empty Tomb
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Before His death, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and shared a Passover meal with them. During this time, Judas was uncovered as the person who would betray His master, as detailed in John 13:1-30. At the end of the meal, Jesus introduced The Lord’s Prayer. After the meal, Jesus took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the garden, he pulled James, John, and Peter away and told them to pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation, and went off alone. However, the three men fell asleep.

While He was alone, Jesus was depressed and sorrowful as His death approached. In Luke 22:44, we read that His sweat fell like blood drops, and His anguish was such that life was being drained from Him. Jesus asked God to take the upcoming pain away from Him, but only if it was God’s will. However, it wasn’t the anticipation of the horrible hours on the cross or devastation that made Jesus sorrowful. Matthew 27:46 tells us that what made Him upset in the garden was the anticipation of carrying the weight of sin.

Seeing His pain, God sent an angel to strengthen Him enough to get through it. Jesus asked John, James, and Peter to pray that they would remain loyal to Him, but they fell asleep again. For three years, Jesus shared His life and upcoming death with His disciples. Then, Judas, one of His disciples, walked up to Him, greeted Him, then handed Him over to the Roman guards. The next few hours were a fog of mockings, beatings, and whippings with leather thongs tipped with shards of bone and balls of metal.

Jesus’ skin was beaten off, and blood dripped from His head from the long thorns in His crown. Jesus also suffered the humiliation of several illegal mock trials before Caiaphas, Annas, and the Sanhedrin. There were also Roman trials before Pontius Pilate, Herod, and then Pilate again. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent but bent to the will of the crowd who shouted “Crucify Him!” and sent Jesus to the cross, as detailed in Luke 23:1-25.

Jesus’ crucifixion.

Once He was on the cross, Jesus had the option to rest His weight on the spikes in His hands or push up on the spikes in His feet and be able to breathe. Those who celebrated Jesus a week earlier now mocked and taunted Him. He watched the Roman soldiers divvy up His possessions in front of Him before His death. Then, He took His mother’s grief as she looked up at the One the angel promised would save the world. When the soldiers attempted to break His legs, which was a typical method of accelerating the crucified’s death, He was already dead. John 19:30 tells us that at that point, Jesus gave up His spirit.

Who buried Jesus?

Joseph of Arimathea was a biblical man who played a crucial role in Jesus’ burial. His story can be found in each of the four Gospels. He’s called Joseph of Arimathea to distinguish him from the other Josephs in the Bible and because he came from the Judean town of Arimathea. There isn’t much information about him in the Bible, but there are certain things we can collect from the text. In Luke 23:50, we see that Joseph was part of the Sanhedrin, the assembly of Jewish religious leaders who demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. However, we read in verse 51 that Joseph was against the Council’s decision and was a secret follower of Jesus, as detailed in Mark 15:43.

Joseph was a rich man, although we don’t know the source of his wealth. Additionally, the Bible calls him a “good and upright man,” as detailed in Luke 23:50. After Jesus died on the cross, at significant risk to himself and his reputation, Joseph went to Pontius Pilate to request Jesus’ body. Nicodemus, the Pharisee who’d visited Jesus at night to ask questions regarding God’s Kingdom, accompanied Joseph. The two men were given custody of Jesus’ body and immediately started to prepare it for burial. Following Jewish customs, they wrapped Jesus’ body in linen strips mixed with aloe and myrrh. However, it was the Day of Preparation, the sixth day of the week, right before the Jewish Sabbath, and it was late in the day.

So Nicodemus and Joseph quickly placed Jesus in Joseph’s tomb, located in the garden near where Jesus was crucified. Unbeknownst to the two men, their choice to put Jesus’ body in Joseph’s tomb fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy articulated hundreds of years before Jesus died, as detailed in Isaiah 53:9, one of the several prophecies that confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and the Messiah. In the days after Jesus’ burial, the Pharisees and chief priests went to Pontius Pilate to request that the stone Joseph put in front of the tomb be sealed and that a guard be posted for three days. They mentioned Jesus’ claim that He would rise after three days, claiming the disciples might try to steal the body to manufacture a resurrection, as detailed in Matthew 27:63-64.

However, their precautions were for nothing, as Jesus rose from the day on the third day, as was predicted in Matthew 28. Many false legends and stories have arisen about Joseph. Some say that Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Mary, Jesus’ mother. However, the Bible doesn’t make that connection, so the claim is unconfirmed. Additionally, Joseph allegedly made several expeditions to Britain for trade and is believed to have eventually brought the gospel to Britain. Again, the Bible doesn’t mention Joseph of Arimathea after Jesus’ burial, so we can’t say for sure what path he took in life.

However, what we do know is what we find in the Bible. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man and part of the Sanhedrin, even though He secretly followed Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea opposed Jesus’ crucifixion, but the Sanhedrin didn’t listen. He obtained Jesus’ body and laid it in his tomb, from which Jesus would rise again three days later.

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