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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 5 - Christ's Suffering and Death (Matthew 26:1-27:66)

30. The Burial of Christ (Matthew 27:57-61)

MATTHEW 27:57-61
57 When evening had come, a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself was also Jesus’ disciple came. 58 This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given up. 59 Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
(Deuteronomy 21:22-23)

A rich man from Arimathea, who was called Joseph, appears in this gospel. Due to his honorable estate, he was a member of the Sanhedrin. Perhaps he abstained from voting against Christ because he respected the divine healer who was strengthened by the hand of God. Joseph was angry at the evil dealings of Caiaphas, the cunning high priest and his cheating kindred. Joseph went to Pilate, the governor, where he was received because of his authority, and he asked for the body of Jesus. By this act, he stood against the whole Sanhedrin in favor of Jesus.

Nicodemus, another member of the Sanhedrin, joined with the women in helping Joseph to take Jesus’ body down from the cross, wash it, anoint it, and wrap it. These things were done quickly before the beginning of the feast at sunset. Then they put Him in a new tomb that had been prepared for Joseph himself. He who was condemned as a criminal was buried as a rich man.

Christ died a real death. His heart stopped. His blood separated into water and blood. His breath stopped, and His body became cold and hard. Jesus was a true man. He was born to give Himself as a sacrifice. He died for us. When He was buried in the tomb, they rolled a stone against the door to keep wild animals away from His body.

The death of Christ was not a mirage. He did not just fall asleep and then ascend to God. He died on the cross, and His dead body was buried in a tomb. Every other description of His death is an untrue dream or a deliberate lie.

While He lived, Christ did not have a house of His own wherein to lay His head. When He died, He did not have a grave of His own, wherein to lay His body. This is an example of His poverty. Yet in this there might be something of a mystery. The grave is the peculiar heritage of a sinner (Job 24:19). There is nothing we can truly call our own but our sins and our graves. When we go to the grave, we go to our own place. But our Lord Jesus, who had no sin of His own, had no grave of His own. Dying under imputed sin, it was fit that He should be buried in a borrowed grave. The Jews intended that He should have made His grave with the wicked and should have been buried with the thieves with whom He was crucified. But God overruled that plan and determined that He would be “with the rich in His death” (Isaiah 53:9).

The Jews began to dash quickly to their houses, for the Passover had begun at six o’clock in the evening. No one is allowed to work or to move excessively after that time. According to the law, those who participated in burial ceremonies would become impure and unworthy of celebrating the Passover. Here, we see the weakness of the Old Testament law. Those who serve Jesus Christ are worthy of every respect and holiness. He who accepts the Crucified One shall be purified forever.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, we worship You because You truly died. You were buried in a grave hewn out of the rock, having completed the Sabbath rest after You were slain on Friday, when lambs were slain for the Passover. We worship You because You are the true Lamb of God. You completed all Passover requirements. Your blood became our protection from God’s wrath. We love You, serve You, commit ourselves to You, and want nothing but to glorify Your holy name.


  1. What do you learn from the burial of Jesus?


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