Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb

Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. – Matthew 27:57-61.

Summary

Burial of Jesus — Joseph of Arimathea, a rich disciple of Jesus, begs for Jesus’ body to be buried in his own new tomb. Pilate concurs and commands that the body be given to him. Joseph wraps it in clean linen, lays it in his new tomb, and rolls a large stone against the door of the tomb before departing. The two Marys sit opposite that tomb. They have a good long look at its location.

Analysis

“Now when evening had come” (v.57) — This phrase means it was close to the beginning of the Passover which began at 6:00 p.m. or twilight. The Jews had two evenings. The first at 3 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m., which started a new day.

“a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph” — Several passages describe this man.

1. he was rich and a disciple of Jesus (cf. Matt. 27:57)
2. he was a highly honored member of the Sanhedrin (cf. Mark 15:43)
3. he was a good and upright man (cf. Luke 23:50)
4. he was a secret disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews (cf. John 19:38)

“This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus” (v.58) — This was a brave act on the part of Joseph for the following reasons.

1. he was publicly identifying himself with a man convicted of treason
2. he was willing to be ceremonially unclean for the Passover
3. this would surely ostracize him from the Sanhedrin

(v.59) — Joseph hurried to prepare Jesus’ body before 6 p.m., which started Passover. The exact time when the stone was rolled into place is uncertain. It was before 6 p.m.

“his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock” (v.60) — This is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9.

“Mary Magdalene” (v.61) — The three women are listed in the previous passage, i.e. Matt. 27:55-56.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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