John 19:38-42

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

This passage describes the burial of Jesus after his crucifixion. It's a moment of tender care and devotion, a quiet interlude before the glory of the resurrection.

Two figures step forward to take charge of Jesus' burial: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Both are secret disciples of Jesus, men of status and influence who have been afraid to openly declare their faith. But in this moment of crisis, they find the courage to act.

Joseph goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus' body. It was a bold move, as associating oneself with a condemned criminal could have serious consequences. But Pilate grants the request, and Joseph takes the body away.

Nicodemus, who had earlier come to Jesus by night (as recorded in John 3), accompanies Joseph. He brings a lavish amount of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. This was an extravagant gesture, befitting a royal burial.

Together, Joseph and Nicodemus prepare Jesus' body for burial. They wrap it in strips of linen with the spices, following Jewish burial customs. It's an act of love and respect, a final service to their teacher and lord.

John notes that there was a garden at the place of the crucifixion, and in the garden, a new tomb. It's a detail full of symbolism. The garden evokes the Garden of Eden, the place of the first sin and the first death. But this garden will be the place of new life, of resurrection.

The tomb is also significant. It's a new tomb, never before used. This detail fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9, which says the Messiah would be "assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death." Jesus, though crucified as a criminal, is buried in a rich man's tomb.

As we reflect on this passage, we are moved by the courage and devotion of Joseph and Nicodemus. They remind us that it's never too late to take a stand for Jesus, that even secret disciples can find moments of bold faith.

We are also struck by the extravagance of their act. The spices, the new tomb - these are not the bare minimum, but lavish expressions of love. They remind us that no expense, no effort is too much when it comes to honoring Jesus.

Finally, we see in this moment a prelude to the resurrection. The garden, the new tomb - these are signs of the new life that is to come. Even in the darkest moment, there are glimmers of hope, promises of what God is about to do.

As we contemplate the burial of Jesus, let's ask ourselves: Are there areas of my life where I need to step out in bold faith? How can I honor Jesus extravagantly, holding nothing back? Do I trust in the promise of resurrection, even in the face of death?

May we, like Joseph and Nicodemus, be found faithful in our devotion to Christ. And may we always hold fast to the hope of new life that he brings.

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 19:31-37 John 20:1-2 »
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 12:1-8
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 12:1-8
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:28-30
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:28-30
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:27
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:27
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:25-26
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:25-26
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, visit https://aneelaranha.com/

Load More