Peace be with you!
Yesterday Jesus Christ died on the cross. Today we read about how Joseph, one of Jesus’ disciples, goes to Pontius Pilate to ask if he can bury Jesus’ body (Matthew 27:57). Pontius Pilate grants Joseph permission to take and bury Jesus’ body. Joseph takes the body, wraps it in a clean linen cloth, and lays it in his own tomb which he carved out of rock (Matthew 27:59-60). Tombs were used to bury several generations of a family. This tomb is special because no one else was buried in it. Because it was the Sabbath, Joseph rolled a great stone over the opening of the tomb and went away (Matthew 27:60).
All the while, Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary watch from a distance (Matthew 27:61), because they could not prepare the body for burial until the next day. These women never leave Jesus’ side when he was alive; they are there to tend to his needs even after his death. Both of the women love and care for Jesus deeply.
Following Jesus means caring for him even leaves the world. Today, you care for Jesus by caring for others. His mission does not end when Jesus leaves the world but continues through you every time you provide clothes for the naked, shelter for the homeless, and food for the hungry. Life continues, just as Jesus’ mission continues through us.
The day after Jesus’ death is still the Sabbath for the Jews. The chief priests and Pharisees meet with Pontius Pilate, because they are worried someone may come and steal Jesus’ body. After all, Jesus said, “After three days I will rise again” (Matthew 27:62-63). It is so striking that they actually did understand his point: it wasn’t that he was going to destroy the temple and raise it, but that he was going to die and his body would be raised. Pontius Pilate does not want a political uprising, and the chief priests and Pharisees do not want more rabble-rousing from this Jesus figure. Surely Pilate will punish them if more tumult ensues. So they petition Pontius Pilate and he agrees to seal the tomb and send out a guard soldiers to watch over the tomb. Pontius Pilate is agreeing to cover all the bases for the chief priests and Pharisees to ensure the Jesus figure does not cause any more problems.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving us the opportunity to know Jesus. Help us to understand why Jesus had to die. Remind us Easter is coming. Thank you for your love. Amen.
Please feel free to answer the reflective questions through comments. Please agree to disagree and be respectable to each other. Please take a moment, if you have not already, to sign the covenant. You can answer all or just one of the questions.
- How do you feel about burying Jesus in the tomb?
- What is your worst fear?