Summary: There is a lot of teaching about WHY Christ died in the Scripture. There is a fair amount of teaching about the Resurrection. But the burial of Christ occupies a lesser role. Even so, keep in mind that it is one third of the Gospel. Although the Bible
"Contemplating the Burial: The Basic Facts"
1. A man who died in 1997 has received a telephone bill from Sprint at his current abode -- the Hillside Cemetery in Auburn, Mass. "Our clients here don’t usually get mail," said superintendent Wayne Bloomquist. "I wondered if maybe we should start putting mailboxes on the monuments." The bill included a 10-cent call placed on Feb.16 this year.
2. There are many good jokes about funerals, graves, and burials. One of the funniest is a local name. You need to understand that my parents and sister always called me Eddie. There is a funeral home in Peru called, "Eikenberry – Eddy." I try to stay away from there. I prefer the undertakers here in Kokomo. In all the years I have known them, they have never let me down!
3. We tend to joke about such matters because, deep down, we fear dying – and we especially fear saying goodbye to those we love. We tend to joke about the things that we fear most.
4. The good news is that Christ has removed the sting of death through the Gospel. Death seemed to be irreversible until Jesus Christ reversed it.
5. In I Cor. 15:3, Paul defines the Gospel of the Grace of God in three points: (1) Christ died for OUR sins, (2) He was buried, and (3) He rose again on the third day.
6. There is a lot of teaching about WHY Christ died in the Scripture. There is a fair amount of teaching about the Resurrection. But the burial of Christ occupies a lesser role. Even so, keep in mind that it is one third of the Gospel. Although the Bible is not as vocal about the burial of Christ, there is more than what we might think.
7. So over the next two weeks, we are going to focus in upon the burial of Christ.
MAIN IDEA: The implications of the burial of Christ are many; here are two of the most obvious.
I. To Confirm Jesus As Dead: An Acceptable Passover Sacrifice (John 19:31-37)
1. The pressure to remove the bodies by nightfall
---the law of Deut. 21:22-23
2. The piercing of Jesus side
--plasma separated from clotted blood
3. The Scripture fulfilled and the foreshadowing of the Passover followed (Numbers 9:12)
--why they would break the bones
--certain soldiers were schooled in crucifixion….
--Christ died on Passover Day (two reckonings)
--no bones broken
--leave none of it to the morning
--Passover also initiated the week long feast of Unleavened Bread, in the Midst of which was the Feast of First Fruits (Easter)
4. John bears witness to this:
(1) Youngest apostle, wrote this near end of his life, possibly 85-90 AD
(2) heresy circulated: Jesus did not have a body (gnostics)
Application: Original Passover in Egypt, God passed over the homes of the Israelites when He saw the blood…
(1) Christ died for OUR sins, (2) He was buried, and (3) He rose again on the third day.
II. To Provide An Honorable Burial: A Prelude to Resurrection (John 19:38-42)
1. The prophecy of Isaiah 53:9
--an assigned grave vs. an actual grave…
--He died as a forsaken criminal, buried as an important person
2. Most people were buried in the ground, ossuary…
3. But God had a plan to reverse death…although Jesus would have risen from the ground, you can see why the tomb would be a better scenario…
4. Joseph and Nicodemus were both members of the ruling council, the Sanhedrin….
(1) Joseph who had been a secret believer became public while the apostles, who were public believers, became secret
(2) other Gospels tell us that this tomb was his…near where Jesus was crucified…I often wonder if Joseph was eventually buried there later…
-----this is key: A clear, easy to find, nearby tomb -- donated by a dignified and highly esteemed man -- would be used; it was an important defense of the Gospel that 2 out of Israel’s 70 leaders buried Jesus -- and these men were probably among the most respected…
----we are creating a situation here where it becomes impossible to avoid the conclusion that Jesus arose
(3) Nicodemus was with him, another secret…
--these men were highly respected, not young, and they knew where this tomb was…they knew the burial customs, experienced in what they did
(5) Never underestimate the faith of the quiet!!!
(6) Some people are slow to confess Jesus, but we should all do so…no need to be obnoxious…but UNASHAMED
(7) Do the people you interact with often know that you are a Christian? Hopefully not an obnoxious or rude one, but a Christian who is not ashamed? Maybe your faith needs to SURFACE from the underground….