John 19:38-42

It is fascinating to me that Jesus was buried by two unlikely men, such as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  Though members of the Jewish leadership who had not previously disclosed their faith in Jesus, these men clearly felt compelled to treat His body in a way that no one else dared to do.

The Romans scorned crucified criminals.  The Jews were offended by the sight of them.  Neither group really cared much for what happened to the bodies of these dead men.  The Jews’ primary concern was simply avoiding desecration of their holy city with the graves of criminals.

But Joseph and Nicodemus, knowing that no family member would dare surface at this time to bury Jesus, took it upon themselves to bury Him with honor and dignity.

The IVP New Testament Commentary declares, “They had nothing to gain and everything to lose.”  They risked their reputation and status, likely along with their physical safety, in order to bury a man so hated by their peers that this exposure surely carried with it the possibility of castigation.

There comes a point for all of us when we must choose to turn our belief into action, no matter the cost. 

If we believe Jesus is who He says He is, then we must demonstrate that in our worship of Him.

Joseph and Nicodemus lavishly prepared Jesus’ body for burial in a way reminiscent of His anointing by Mary only days earlier (John 12:3,19:39).  He was precious to them.

And though He had “no place to lay His head” when He walked this earth ( Luke 9:58 ), Jesus’ body was fittingly placed in a tomb where no one else had laid. 

No one preceded Him.  There is none who will come after Him. 

He is the Alpha and the Omega.

The Creator of life has put an end to death.

Let the people of God rejoice!

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  (Hebrews 2:14-15)