The Burial of Jesus
Text: John 19:31-42
I. It was the preparation day, the 14th of the month, the day before the Passover celebration
A. On this day, the lamb was slain for the feast.
B. Since the Passover was a holy day, it was referred to as a Sabbath day, since no one could work that day (Numbers 28:16-18)
C. Since it was a holy day, no burial (work) could be done and nothing unclean (touching the dead).
D. Hence, the soldiers went to speed up the death of the criminals on the cross by breaking their legs.
1. However, Jesus’ legs were not broken since he was already dead.
a. This fulfilled prophesy that no bone of Jesus would be broken - Psalm 34:20
2. To insure that Jesus was really dead, a solider thrust his spear into Jesus’ side. Blood mix with water poured out of the wound showing that Jesus had already died of heart failure.
a. This fulfills the prophecy that he was pierced - Zechariah 12:10
3. John solemnly swore that he witnessed this event.
a. It was important to establish that Jesus was truly dead, otherwise later events would not be as wondrous.
II. Joseph and Nicodemus came to Pilate asking for the body of Jesus
A. Both were members of the council - Luke 23:50-51
B. Both followed Jesus, but secretly because they feared the other Jews
C. When Pilate was asked for the body, he had the centurion testify to his death - Mark 15:43-45
D. They had the body bound according to their burial customs
1. About 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes was used.
2. The body was wrapped in linen cloth
3. The women helped in the preparation and so also served as witnesses - Luke 23:55
E. They placed Jesus in a hewn grave.
1. Such were only afforded by the wealthy.
2. This grave was brand-new, never used before
3. The grave was selected because it was nearby and they did not have time to bring the body of Jesus anywhere else.
4. All work had to be done before sundown (they only had about 3 hours)
III. The leading Jews were not content with this. They feared that a disciple would steal the body to make it look as if Jesus arose - Matthew 27:62-66
A. They went to Pilate on the Sabbath day and requested a guard and that the grave be sealed until after the third day.