Day 30 | The In-Between

Matthew 27:57-66

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Words: Derek Maher Read: 0 - 5 mins Published: 30 March 2024

This text describes the disciple Joseph – obviously not an original 12 – as a rich man. This man must have had some prominence because, firstly, he secured an audience with Pilate after hours (normally, after noon, Pilate was unavailable to the public). Secondly, Romans usually denied the bodies of crucifixions and just left them to rot and get eaten by vultures or dogs. Thirdly, only the families of the deceased were granted access to the bodies, with the exception that if treason was committed (as claiming to be king would be), then permission to the body would not be granted.


Being wrapped in a fine linen shroud would mark an honourable burial, and to bury someone else in their own family tomb was a special act of reverence and affection.


What was Jesus doing whilst this was going on? A prominent man (Jesus) had an audience of the damned and is now in control of those that oppress people. Jesus was paying for our bondage of sin with His death. Jesus became sin (2 Corinthians 5: 21), that is, He became sin, death, sickness, and poverty so that we might become the righteous of God – we now have right standing with God, the right to Healing, the right to life, the right to prosperity and the right to come boldly before the throne of Grace and stand in His presence without any sense of inferiority. Jesus descended into the lowest parts of the earth and took the keys of death and hades (Revelation 1:18) so we can now live with Him forevermore. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

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