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#239 When Hope is Gone God Provides

Pilate is surprised by Joseph’s request; he’s never heard of anyone dying six hours after crucifixion. The priests had warned him about deception, so after checking with the centurion, and hearing his account, he gives Joseph permission to have Jesus’ body.

Both Joseph and Nicodemus have lost all fear of priests and fellow rulers. They had not openly showed their belief in Jesus, thinking they could do him more good if they remained in the Sanhedrin. For a time they did, but their attachment became evident, and they were excluded from his trial.

They have been connecting Jesus’ words with scripture and are maybe the only disciples not surprised at Jesus’ death. Now they come forward at just the time when their money and influence are needed.

The grieving and fearful disciples are surprised and grateful that these two wealthy religious leaders are as interested in their Lord as they are.

John helps Joseph and Nicodemus tenderly take Jesus off of the cross themselves,  all of their tears falling freely on his body as they clean his wounds and prepare him for burial. They wrap him in the new linen and spices Nicodemus has brought.

Joseph tells the others about his tomb in a garden close by and that he has prepared it for Jesus.

The disciples’ feelings of helplessness are relieved, their pain somewhat eased.

They carry Jesus to the new tomb in a sheet, the women following. Jesus is given a burial as honored as any in Jerusalem.

Matthew 27:55-61,  Mark 15:40-47,  Luke 23:49-56,  John 19:38-42

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