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Jesus’ burial | Bible Trek – Easter Series - 10

The walls of Jerusalem, built by Nehemiah, were vital for national security, providing protection for its inhabitants. Built into the stones walls are a series of caves or tombs, owned by generations of families and used for burying their dead. Joseph of Arimathea owned a tomb like this and asked permission to bury Jesus’ body there.

Quick read 

Luke 24.1–12   

In a nutshell 

‘Who will roll away the stone for us?’ (Mark 16.3 GNB)  

Jewish law and custom demanded that criminals were buried in special vaults, rather than family tombs.  

After the crucified Jesus had been declared dead, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council, asked Roman governor Pilate for permission to bury Jesus. Joseph wanted to ensure that he was laid to rest in a place of honour, rather than an offender’s vault. The Gospel account explains that Joseph hadn’t agreed with the Sanhedrin’s decision to hand Jesus over to the Roman authorities for execution.  

Tombs were sealed with huge stones to deter robbers and animal scavengers. In Jesus’ case, the tomb was guarded as well. It would take a miracle to move the stone. The rest is salvation history. The women who came to mourn at Jesus’ tomb found it empty, with the stone rolled away and Jesus nowhere to be seen, until he appeared to them alive.

Look to a gravestone and you'll see two dates – the date of birth and the date of death. And in between, there’s a dash. Jon Tyson writes: ‘The whole of your life on earth is going to come down to that tiny little dash.’   

Video gaming, 5G, Amazon, and social media mean we have an endless stream of immediate entertainment and consumption at our fingertips. Neil Postman famously wrote in the 80s that we’re ‘amusing ourselves to death’ – and that was the 80s! Are you alive or are you just breathing? 

The resurrection, rooted in history, means real life is available. If Jesus went back up the one-way street of death and broke its power, it means that today we can live with one foot in the future. The day the stone moved and Jesus walked out of the tomb can be the day we did too. No longer bound by the weight of sin or the fear of death, followers of Jesus can walk out confident, free to make a difference. A great dash is only possible when resurrection hope is yours.

Read on to find out more about Jesus’ burial and resurrection. 

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