From Swaddling Clothes to Grave Clothes: Preparing A Place of Rest While Awaiting Resurrection

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by John Mark—a traveling companion of the apostle Paul and of Barnabas. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the sixteenth chapter of this New Testament book.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchure, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid” (Mark 16:1-8).

            “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not” (Mark 16:9-11).

            “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them” (Mark 16:12-13).

            “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they say at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; IN my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:14-18).

            “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following Amen” (Mark 16:19-20).

            WHEN THE SABBATH DAY WAS PAST! MARY MAGDALENE, AND MARY THE MOTHER OF JAMES, AND SALOME, HAD BOUGHT SWEET SPICES, THAT THEY MIGHT COME AND ANOINT HIM! VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, THEY CAME UNTO THE SEPULCHRE AT THE RISING OF THE SUN! WHO SHALL ROLL US AWAY THE STONE FROM THE DOOR OF THE SEPULCHRE? WHEN THEY LOOKED, THEY SAW THAT THE STONE WAS ROLLED AWAY! THEY WONDERED WHO WOULD ROLL AWAY THE STONE THAT THEY MIGHT ANOINT THE BODY OF JESUS AND WHEN THEY ARRIVED AT THE TOMB THEY FOUND THE STONE HAVING ALREADY BEEN ROLLED AWAY! THE STONE WAS VERY GREAT! THEY ENTERED INTO THE SEPULCHRE! THEY SAW A YOUNG MAN SITTING ON THE RIGHT SIDE, CLOTHED IN A LONG WHITE GARMENT! THEY WERE AFFRIGHTED! BE NOT AFFRIGHTED! YE SEEK JESUS OF NAZARETH, WHICH WAS CRUCIFIED! HE IS RISEN! HE IS NOT HERE! BEHOLD THE PLACE WHERE THEY LAID HIM! GO YOUR WAY, TELL HIS DISCIPLES AND PETER THAT HE GOETH BEFORE YOU INTO GALILEE! THERE SHALL YE SEE HIM! AS HE SAID UNTO YOU!

            WHEN JESUS WAS RISEN EARLY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, HE APPEARED FIRST TO MARY MAGDALENE! SHE WENT AND TOLD THEM THAT HAD BEEN WITH HIM, AS THEY MOURNED AND WEPT! WHEN THEY HEARD THAT HE WAS ALIVE, AND HAD BEEN SEEN OF HER, BELIEVED NOT!

            HE APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM UNTO TWO OF THEM AS THEY WALKED, AND WENT INTO THE COUNTRY! THEY WENT AND TOLD IT UNTO THE RESIDUE! NEITHER BELIEVED THEY THEM!

            HE APPEARED UNTO THE ELEVEN AS THEY SAT AT MEAT! UPBRAIDED THEM WITH THEIR UNBELIEF AND HARDNESS OF HEART, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED NOT THEM WHICH HAD SEEN HIM AFTER HE WAS RISEN!

            ”The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3).

            “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).

            HE IS RISEN! HE IS NOT HERE! HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Mark being presented unto you. It is absolutely remarkable and astounding to read the words found in this particular chapter, for when you left off and concluded with the fifteenth chapter of this New Testament book you found and discovered that not only had the Romans crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, but they had also buried His body in a borrowed tomb. I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what would and what might have happened to the body of Jesus were it not for Joseph of Arimathaea coming unto Pontius Pilate and begging for the body. I can’t help but sit here today and think about the awesome and powerful truth of how courageous, how brave, and even how significant Joseph’s actions truly were, for when he went before Pilate to beg for the body of Jesus he did more than simply ask for a proper place to bury the body. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Joseph had not come boldly before and unto Pilate to beg for the body of Jesus His body might very well have been discarded and buried somewhere entirely and altogether different. I feel very strongly that when you think about the death of Jesus upon the cross and how His lifeless body was taken down from the cross the Romans might have showed no regard for His body, nor His person as they finally removed it from the cross. I would absolutely love to do a study and truly see what the Romans did with the bodies of those whom they had just crucified—particularly and especially if those who were crucified were found guilty of sedition, insurrection, violence, riots, murder, and the like.

            I would like to ask you to stop for a moment and think about and consider the fact that it was Pilate who condemned and sentenced Jesus to death, and it was Pilate who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus and turned Him over to the bands. It was the Roman guard and centurions who would scourge Jesus Christ, and would do so until the point where He was almost unrecognizable. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality, for after Jesus had been scourged, after Jesus had a crown of thorns placed upon His brow, after Jesus had been mocked and ridiculed, after Jesus had been scorned and mocked, He would then be forced to carry His cross along the winding road through the city of Jerusalem known as the Via Dolorosa. We know that the Romans would compel a man named Simon to carry the cross of Jesus the Christ, and that He would most likely help Him carry the cross all the way to the place of the skull where He would be crucified. It would be there at Calvary where the person of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed and would in fact be crucified as they would nail His hands to the horizontal beam of the cross, and as they would nail His feet to the vertical beam of the cross. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely astonishing and captivating it truly is. It would be there at Calvary and there at the place called Golgotha where Jesus would be nailed to a cruel wooden tree and would hang there upon that tree for six hours before finally commending and committing His spirit into the hands of the Father. For six hours Jesus would hang there upon the cross, and from the sixth hour unto the ninth hour darkness would cover the face of the earth. It would be in those moments Jesus would cry out with a loud voice and would ask His Father in heaven why He had forsaken Him. Those who stood round about Him thought He was crying out for Elijah, and would even ridicule Him further and declare unto Him that He ought to let Elijah come and save Him. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely remarkable and incredible it is, for it is truly something worth thinking about and considering how Jesus would be nailed to a cruel Roman tree, and how He would hang there for six hours before He would ultimately give up the ghost and yield His spirit into the hands of the Father.

            Scripture and the gospel narratives record how those Roman centurions who were stationed at the crucifixion site came to the two thieves which were crucified on each side and broke their legs so they would suffocate and die even quicker. When, however, they came to the cross where Jesus hung and was crucified they found that He was already dead. As a direct result of this they would not break His legs, however, there would be a Roman soldier and centurion who would take a spear and would thrust it into the side of Christ’s body. It would be upon thrusting this spear into the side of Christ’s physical body that both blood and water would flow, thus symbolizing He was indeed dead, and thus fulfilling the words which the ancient Hebrew prophets had prophesied concerning the Messiah and not one of His bones would be broken. Oh I can’t help but wonder how long Jesus’ lifeless body hung there upon the cross before Joseph of Arimathaea boldly went unto Pilate and begged the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that the bodies would and could not remain upon the cross around the time of the feast, and so their bodies would in fact need to be brought down and disposed of. In all reality I have to admit that I absolutely love the boldness, the confidence, the courage, and even the tenacity of Joseph of Arimathaea, for it would be His boldness that would not only guard and protect the physical body of Jesus, but would also secure it in a place until the time would come for His resurrection. There is not a doubt in my mind when reading the gospel narratives that Joseph’s actions were incredibly significant, for even in the death of Jesus Christ the Father was still watching over and protecting Him, for the Father would use the actions of Joseph to guard and protect His physical body. The chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel remembered that Jesus had spoken of His rising from the grave on the third day, and they also came unto Pilate requesting a seal and guard be placed at the tomb lest His disciples come in the dark of night, steal the body away, and claim that He had indeed risen from the grave.

            It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words found in this portion and passage of the Scripture, for there would be two different groups and types of people who would come unto Pilate concerning the body of Jesus Christ. Joseph of Arimathaea would come unto Pilate and beg the body of Jesus that He might wrap it in clean linen garments, and that he might bury it in his own new tomb. The chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel would also come unto Pilate after the body of Jesus had already been buried within the heart of the earth, and after He had been placed within the borrowed tomb. The sole purpose for the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel coming unto Pilate concerning the body of Jesus is that they were concerned the disciples would come stealthily and secretly in the night and steal away the body of Christ. They were concerned and fearful that in addition to their stealing away the physical body of Christ they would also proclaim that He had risen from the grave, and the latter doctrine and message would be altogether more damaging than the first. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words which are found within the gospel narratives concerning the death of Jesus and His burial, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the actions of Joseph of Arimathaea were used by the living and eternal God to watch over and protect the physical body of Jesus. We know that Jesus had yielded and committed His spirit into the hands, and that while His physical body lie lifeless in a borrowed tomb, His spirit would descend into the depths of hell, and would descend into Sheol itself as He would preach unto all those who had gone on before. We know from the writings of the apostle Paul that Jesus would lead a train and a host of captives free upon His resurrection from the dead, and how He would give good gifts unto men as a result. WE must needs realize, recognize and understand that it was while the physical body of Jesus was lying lifeless in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea that His spirit man would descend into the very depths of the earth and would not only conquer death, hell and the grave, but would also preach unto those spirits which were in bondage and captivity.

            How absolutely astounding it is to think about the fact that the actions of Joseph of Arimathaea would indeed and would in fact be wonderfully and powerfully used by the living and eternal God to safeguard and protect the physical body of Jesus until the appointed time when He would be raised from the dead. Oh it would indeed and would in fact be necessary for Jesus to be buried, for it was only when He was dead and only when He was buried in the heart of the earth He would and could indeed be raised from death to life. The actions of Joseph of Arimathaea would indeed and would in fact be used by the living and eternal God, for his actions would indeed take the physical body of Jesus the Christ and place it in that location where it might rest while His spirit would descend into the depths of the earth and conquer death, hell and the grave. Oh I would absolutely love to know what actually and what specifically took place during those three days while Jesus’ physical body lie lifeless and buried in that borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. I do not believe for one moment that Joseph knew and understood what Jesus would indeed and would in fact accomplish during those three days while His physical body would remain in a borrowed tomb. I do not believe for one moment that Joseph knew and understood that while the lifeless body of Jesus would indeed and would in fact lie within that borrowed tomb with the stone rolled before the entrance that His spirit man would descend into the depths of the earth and would conquer and defeat death, hell and the grave. It is actually quite remarkable and truly powerful when you think about and consider this truth and reality, for it calls and forces us to encounter the truth that while Jesus’ physical body lie lifeless in the heart of the earth His spirit man would be at work in the very depths of the earth engaging the powers of darkness, and preaching unto the spirits which were contained therein. There is not a doubt in my mind that there was a truly remarkable and powerful work which took place during those days and at that time, for while the physical body of Jesus Christ lie buried in the borrowed tomb we know and understand that there was a work which would take place in the unseen, in the spiritual and in the supernatural realm.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering how truly awesome and powerful the actions of Joseph of Aramathaea truly are, for through his actions you will find one who not only reverenced and honored Jesus, but was also willing to continue that honor and reverence—even in His death. We know that there would be those women who would watch Jesus be crucified who would mourn, and those disciples who were present at the cross might also have mourned and wept as well. What we find within the narrative of Joseph of Arimathea, however, is a powerful witness and example of one who was indeed looking for the consolation of the kingdom of God, and would take and assume full responsibility for the body of Jesus. Pause for a moment and consider how truly wonderful and truly powerful this is, for Joseph was not only willing to honor and reverence Jesus in His death, but he was also willing to assume full responsibility for His body even after His death. Joseph was not willing to allow the Romans to simply discard the physical and lifeless body of Jesus the Christ, and deliberately and intentionally chose to take the physical body of Jesus off the cross that he might bury it within His own new tomb. Not only this, but Joseph of Arimathea would also wrap the physical body of Jesus in fine linen before placing it in the borrowed tomb. Oh I can’t help but wonder what Joseph thought when and as he was taking down the lifeless body of Jesus from the cross and as he was preparing it for burial. I can’t help but wonder what went through the heart and mind of this man who was waiting for the consolation of the kingdom of God as he was wrapping the lifeless body of Jesus in clean linen. What goes through your mind when you heard the words, the doctrine and teaching of Jesus for three and a half years, and now you are staring at His lifeless body as you’re wrapping it? What goes through your heart and mind when you have watched and witnessed Jesus open the blind eyes, open the deaf ears, cause the lame to walk, raise the dead, cast out unclean spirits and devils, cleanse lepers, and so much more, and now you’re staring down at His lifeless body? What do you do when you’re looking at the lifeless body of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God knowing that He had just been put to death and crucified? Oh there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder what it was like for Joseph as He was handling the body of Jesus the Christ after and upon His death, and how carefully, how reverently, and how honorably he would have treated the body as he transported it to his own tomb, and even as he wrapped the body in clean linen garments.

            WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES! WRAPPED IN LINEN GARMENTS! It’s actually something worth thinking about and considering when you realize and recognize that after Jesus was born unto Mary in the town of Bethlehem in a manger, His tiny body was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a certain place there in the manger. It is truly something remarkable when you read the four gospel narratives and consider how when Jesus came into this world He would come as an infant and as a baby who would be born of a virgin. It would be when Jesus came into the world as an infant and as a baby that He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes by Mary. Now here we are thirty-three and a half years later and Jesus is dead after having been killed and crucified at the hands of the Romans. Joseph of Arimathea would boldly come unto Pontius Pilate and beg the body of Jesus, and John Mark even writes and records how Joseph craved the body of Jesus. I am sure that Pontinus Pilate thought nothing of this earnest and eager desire of this man named Joseph of Arimathea, and he would willingly hand the body of Jesus over to this man. Once he had secured the physical body of Jesus He would take the time to wrap it carefully with clean linen garments before placing the body of Christ within the tomb. Oh stop for a moment and consider that when Jesus entered into this world He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes—perhaps even as a sign of a wrapping that would take place thirty-three and a half years later—and how when Jesus was killed and crucified by the Romans His lifeless body would be taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and would be wrapped in linen garments. Oh I would love to know the difference between swaddling clothes and linen garments, and whether or not there is any apparent link and connection between the two. I would love to know if there is indeed an apparent link and connection between the swaddling clothes which Jesus was wrapped in upon His birth, and the linen garments His body would be wrapped in upon His death. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the words concerning Jesus’ birth in the town of Bethlehem and His being wrapped in swaddling clothes, as well as the narratives and accounts of His being wrapped in clean linen garments before being placed in a borrowed tomb after His death:

            “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Beth-lehem; (Because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, AND WRAPPED HIM SWADDLING CLOTHES, AND LAID HIM IN A MANGER; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; YE SHALL FIND THE BABE WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES, LYING IN A MANGER. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Beth-lehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them” (Luke 2:1-20).

            “When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, HE WRAPPED IT IN A CLEAN LINEN CLOTH, and laid it in His own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre” (Matthew 27:57-61).

            “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. AND HE BOUGHT FIND LINEN, AND TOOK HIM DOWN, AND WRAPPED HIM IN THE LINEN, AND LAID HIM IN A SEPULCHRE which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Mgadalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid” (Mark 15:42-47).

            “And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counseler; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them) he was of Arimathea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, AND WRAPPED IT IN LINEN, AND LAID IT INA  SEPLCHURE THAT WAS HEWN IN STONE, WHEREIN NEVER MAN BEFORE WAS LAID! And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments: and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Luke 23:50-56).

            ”And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, a nd brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, AND WOUND IT IN LINEN CLOTHES WITH THE SPICES, AS THE MANNER OF THE JEWS IS TO BURY. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand” (John 19:38-42).

            I can’t help but sit here today and think about the tremendous and apparent link and connection that exists between Jesus’ being born of Mary in the town of Bethlehem, and how after Jesus was born He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. It is something unique and remarkable when you consider this, for when you read of the birth of Jesus you will find that after He was born Mary would take His body, wrap it in swaddling clothes, and place it in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. When we come to the death and burial of Jesus we find Joseph of Arimathea boldly coming unto Pilate and begging and earnestly desiring and craving the body of Jesus that He might look after and care for it. All four gospel authors and writers describe how Joseph of Arimathea would take the lifeless body of Jesus and would wrap it in the clean linen garments, however, there is something unique about what the apostle John writes. When you come to the narrative and account written by the apostle John you will encounter some additional information—namely, that Nicodemus would come unto Joseph of Arimathea as he was preparing the body of Jesus for burial, and would come with a mixture of myrrh and aloes, which were about an hundred pound weight. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs understand this, for we find within the gospels that when the wise men came unto Jesus when He was perhaps an infant of a young child, they brought certain gifts unto Him. The gifts which they brought unto Him were gold, frankincense, and myrrh—three gifts which I am absolutely and completely convinced would have a tremendous significance to His burial in the borrowed tomb. It is worth noting that Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and was wrapped in linen garments as compared to being wrapped in swaddling clothes. FROM THE MANGER TO THE GRAVE! FROM SWADDLING CLOTHES TO LINEN GARMENTS! What’s more, is that when you read the gospel narratives you will find and encounter the absolutely awesome and powerful truth that the Lord Jesus Christ’s lifeless body would not only be wrapped in linen garments, but Nicodemus would bring myrrh which was one of the spices and gifts that was brought unto Jesus when He was an infant. Scripture doesn’t specifically state this, but I would also dare say that there might very well have been frankincense that was used in that mixture which would have been mingled with the linen garments in which Jesus was wrapped in.

            Pause for a moment and think about the fact that two of the gifts which were brought to Jesus when He was but an infant child would be the very things that would be used upon His lifeless body when He was buried in the tomb. Think about and consider the fact that the wise  men brought frankincense and myrrh as gifts unto Jesus—gifts which would eventually be manifested again within the life of Jesus upon His burial. It would be Nicodemus—the same Pharisee who came to Jesus by night as written and recorded by the apostle John—who would come unto Joseph of Arimathea and would bring myrrh and aloes as a mixture which would be used for the garments which the lifeless body of Jesus would be wrapped in. Oh I can’t help but think about the fact that what was brought unto and before Jesus as gifts when He was an infant child would indeed and would in fact be manifested again within His life at His burial, as at least once of those spices would have been used upon His lifeless body before He was placed in the tomb. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if those gifts which were brought unto Jesus as an infant child would indeed and would in fact point to His burial—and not only His burial, but would also point to that which would be placed upon His body and within the linen garments which He would be wrapped in. What’s more, is I can’t help but think about and consider the direct link and connection—not only between the swaddling clothes Jesus was wrapped in and the linen garments He was wrapped in, and not only in the spices which were brought to Jesus as an infant male but also the spices which were brought at His burial, but also the woman who brought the alabaster jar filled with very precious ointment which was very costly and valuable. I am absolutely and completely convinced that if we are going to have a discussion about the swaddling clothes and the linen garments, and if we are going to have a discussion about the gifts brought to Jesus at His birth and the spices brought at His burial, we must also have a discussion about the woman who entered into the house of Simon and not only broke the alabaster box, thus filling the room with the fragrant aroma, but also pour out the ointment and perfume upon the head of Jesus. What’s more, is that it would be Jesus Himself who would emphatically declare that this would be done and performed as preparation for His burial. Oh consider if you will the various narratives which speak of and describe this particular occurrence of the woman who brought this alabaster jar filled with the ointment and would pour it upon the head of Jesus in the house of a leper:

            “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. FOR IN THAT SHE HATH POURED THIS OINTMENT UPON MY BODY, SHE DID IT FOR MY BURIAL! Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, he told for a memorial of her” (Matthew 26:6-13).

            “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were  some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD: SHE IS COME AFOREHAND TO ANOINT MY BODY TO THE BURYING. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:3-9).

            “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with hi. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman, in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him, weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my fee: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50).

            “Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had ben dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made hi ma supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bad, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let here alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always” (John 12:1-8).

            The more I think about and consider the tremendous nature and context centering around this woman who was known as a sinner and would dare come into the presence of Jesus with an alabaster box of precious ointment, and how she would break the box and pour the contents upon the head of Jesus, the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that her actions would be directly linked and connected to the burial of Jesus. We know that the lifeless body of Jesus would indeed be wrapped with linen garments after the body was released into the hands, care and custody of Joseph of Arimathea, and we know that Nicodemus would come with myrrh and aloes to anoint the body of Jesus for burial, as well as the garments in which He would be buried, however, it is also true that this woman would take the ointment and the perfume contained within the alabaster box and pour it upon the head of Jesus. We also know that ointment and perfume would be poured upon the feet of Jesus. What’s more, is that in the gospel narratives we find Jesus emphatically declaring unto the disciples, and unto those that were present in the house that the actions of this woman were done in preparation for His burial. We dare not and must not overlook and miss how incredibly powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ would not only have His head anointed with ointment and very precious perfume in preparation for His burial, but even after His lifeless body was secured by Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus would bring myrrh and aloes as a mixture with which to anoint the body of Jesus, and prepare Him for burial. It is truly something astonishing and captivating to think about and consider this, for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that this woman who was a sinner would come into the house and anoint the head of Jesus in preparation for His burial. What’s more, is that when you read the words found in each of the gospel narratives you will find how Joseph of Arimathea would secure the body of Jesus that he might not only wrap it in linen garments, but might also place it in a tomb where it would rest. Not only this, but only in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John do we find the mention of myrrh and aloes that would be a mixture used upon the lifeless body of Jesus, as well as in the garments He would be wrapped in. How incredibly unique it is to think about and consider the fact that within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find it mentioned once more how he would entreat Pilate for the body of Jesus, how he would wrap the body of Jesus in linen garments, and we also find it written how myrrh and aloes would be used to essentially anoint the body of Jesus, as well as the linen garments in which Jesus would be wrapped.

            I sit here today and consider the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding Joseph of Arimathea which was a city of the Jews and how he was only a disciple and follower of Jesus, but also how he was one who was looking for the kingdom of heaven—much like Simeon and Anna were both looking for the consolation of Israel and the coming Messiah. What makes the narrative of Joseph of Arimathea so incredibly powerful is how he was used by the living and eternal God—not only to secure the physical body of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also to wrap that body in linen garments, and together with Nicodemus anoint the body and garments with spices and aloes as means of preserving it. There is a part of me that can’t help but be absolutely captivated with the actions of Joseph of Arimathea, for not only would his boldness grant him the ability to care for the body of Jesus after it had been taken down from the cross, but also to anoint the body and preserve it for those three days it was buried in the heart of the earth. It is truly captivating when you take the time to read and consider the words how Joseph of Arimathea’s actions were mightily and powerfully used by the living God to preserve the physical body of Jesus in the tomb for those three days—even if he wasn’t fully aware of what he was doing. Scripture is unclear as to whether or not Joseph knew and understood that he engaged in these actions knowing or even believing that Jesus would be raised from death to life on the third day, but what we do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that he was mightily and powerfully used by the living and eternal God to care for, watch over and preserve the body of Jesus. We know that it was Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who buried the lifeless body of Jesus the Christ, and I can’t help but wonder what it was like for these two disciples of Christ as they were staring down at the lifeless body of Jesus. What was it like as they were transporting the lifeless body of Jesus to the grave—and not only transporting the lifeless body of Jesus to the grave, but also wrapping it? What was it like as they were wrapping the body of Jesus knowing that they would bury Him in the heart of the earth? What was it like as they departed from the tomb—and not only departed from the tomb, but also rolled the stone in front of the entrance of the tomb? What did these men think as they departed and went their way leaving the lifeless body of Jesus wrapped and buried within a borrowed tomb?

            There is something truly special and captivating when you think about and consider the narrative and account of Joseph of Arimathea and how this man—much like Joseph who was believed to be the father of Jesus—watched over and preserved Jesus and His mother during the early years of His life. Consider how carefully and faithfully the living and eternal God watched over and preserved the life of His Son during those infant years as He not only sent an angel to warn Joseph in a dream to take the child and His mother down into Egypt, but also warned him of Herod’s death, thus calling them forth out of Egypt. What’s more, is that it would be Joseph who was perceived to be the father of Jesus who was also warned in a dream not to dwell in Judaea, and would instead take the child and His mother into Nazareth where the child would grow up with wisdom, grace, stature and the Spirit of Almighty God. Consider how the living God warned the wise men through an angel concerning their departure a different way instead of returning unto Herod concerning what and who they had found. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it draws and calls our attention to the tremendous truth that just as Joseph was used by the living and eternal God to watch over and faithfully protect the young Jesus after He was born, so also would Joseph of Arimathea be used by the living God to preserve the lifeless body of the Lord Jesus Christ. How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Joseph of Arimathea possessed the courage, the boldness and the grace to be able to entreat Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus Christ, and how he would actually secure the body of Jesus. How absolutely astounding it is to think about and consider the fact that Joseph of Arimathea would be mightily and powerfully used by the one true and living God to preserve and protect the physical body of Jesus Christ after He had been crucified.

            CARING FOR THE LIFELESS BODY OF JESUS! PRESERVING THE LIFELESS BODY OF JESUS! PROTECTING THE LIFELESS BODY OF JESUS! When I consider the narrative surrounding Joseph of Arimathea and his willingness and boldness to entreat Pilate for the body of Jesus, as well as the narrative surrounding the chief priests and their appearance before Pilate, I can’t help but think about how there were two entirely different agendas that were at play here. On the one hand there was the agenda of the eternal Father to preserve and protect the body of Jesus the Christ after He had been killed and crucified. There was the agenda of the Father which would be carried out by and through Joseph of Arimathea, as Joseph of Arimathea would secure the lifeless body of Jesus Christ that he might bury it. This Joseph was unwilling to allow the lifeless body of Jesus to hang there upon the cross, nor was he willing to leave it to chance whether or not anyone else would come for the body of Jesus. Joseph’s boldness and courage to appear before Pilate to obtain and lay hold of the lifeless body of Jesus is something that is absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about it, for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth that he was one who was willing to reverence and honor the Lord Jesus Christ—even in death. I am absolutely and completely convinced that the actions of Joseph of Arimathea are such that ought to be commended by any who read the gospel narratives, for it was this disciple of Jesus who would be seek to secure the physical body of the Lord Jesus Christ that he might show honor and reverence for and toward it. Pause for a moment and think about the tremendous truth and responsibility of being that one who took it upon themselves to care for the lifeless body of Jesus Christ. Stop and think about what it must have been like for Joseph of Arimathea to make his way and come unto Pontius Pilate to beg for the body of Jesus, and doing so without even offering any explanation of why. Consider if you will the tremendous truth surrounding Joseph of Arimathea and what it was like to ask for the physical body of Jesus without suggesting to Pilate what he even desired or intended to do with it. In all reality, I would dare say that while Joseph of Arimathea sought to bury the physical body of Jesus, that which he was actually doing was not only being used by the living God to protect and preserve it, but he was also being used by the living God to essentially make the resurrection all the more powerful and all the more impossible.

            IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION: POSSIBLE GOD! Pause for a moment and think about the fact that it was Joseph of Arimathea who begged for and entreated Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus the Christ, and how it was this Joseph who would wrap His lifeless body in grave clothes upon burying Him in the grave. Consider the fact that Joseph would indeed be used by the living God to protect and preserve the body of Jesus, for it would be he and Nicodemus who would not only wrap the body of Jesus, and not only anoint His body with spices, but they would also roll the stone before the entrance of the tomb. While it was indeed true that they would wrap the lifeless body of Jesus and roll the stone before the entrance of the tomb that Jesus might have a proper burial—consider if you will what would need to take place for this resurrection to actually take place. First, the Spirit of the living God would need to raise Jesus from death to life again. Secondly, the grave clothes would have had to have been removed by the person of Jesus Christ—almost symbolic of the shedding of this outer tent and tabernacle when we ourselves experience the resurrection of the righteous at the end of the age. Third, the stone would have had to be rolled away from the entrance of the tomb for Jesus to come forth. Fourth, the guards which stood at the entrance of the tomb would need to have been disposed of—or at the very least neutralized on this particular day. Scripture reveals and records how it was most likely an angel from heaven who rolled away the stone, or that the earthquake which took place at the resurrection caused the stone to be rolled away from the entrance of the tomb. In all reality, I absolutely love the narrative of Joseph of Arimathea and the chief priests, for both of their efforts would actually collide and converge with each other concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The chief priests and scribes would ask Pilate for guards to be stationed at the entrance of the tomb, and even for a seal to be placed upon the tomb, while Joseph would roll the stone before the entrance of the tomb.

            I can’t help but think about how absolutely powerful the narrative of Joseph of Arimathea truly was, for here was this disciple of Jesus who would boldly and courageously entreat Pontius Pilate for the lifeless body of Jesus Christ—perhaps not even aware of the words which Jesus would speak concerning His resurrection. We know that when Jesus taught His disciples concerning His suffering and death, He also taught them concerning His resurrection as well. What’s more, is very early on in the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ we find Him declaring unto the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees that if they destroyed “this” temple He would raise it up again in three days. The apostle John writes and records how the disciples and those who were present on this particular occasion did not understand what Jesus meant, however, after Jesus was raised from the dead they would remember and recall these words which Jesus had spoken. We don’t know whether or not Jesus taught all of His disciples and followers that He must needs rise from the dead, however, we can be absolutely certain the disciples knew and were very much aware of the words Jesus spoke concerning His resurrection. I can’t help but think about and consider the idea and concept that Joseph of Arimathea might have simply thought that he was honoring and reverencing the lifeless body of Jesus Christ after it had been removed from the cross, and yet he would actually serve a much greater and much larger purpose. That which Joseph of Arimathea would accomplish on this particular day would indeed and would in fact be a strong and powerful act of God as he would be used by the living God to preserve and protect the body of Jesus. Although Joseph might not have been aware of what he was doing when he wrapped the lifeless body of Jesus in linen garments, and although he wasn’t sure of what he was actually doing when he buried the lifeless body of Jesus, we know looking back on it that his actions would be used to secure the physical body of Jesus and to faithfully preserve and protect it. Jesus’ lifeless body would remain there within the borrowed tomb until the third day and the first day of the week when very early in the morning an angel of the Lord would descend from heaven, an earthquake would strike the ground at that time, the stone was rolled away, and Jesus would be raised from death to life.

            Stop and think about what Jesus’ resurrection would have been like for Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who were both used by the living and eternal God to wrap the body of Jesus in linen garments, as well as to anoint it with myrrh and aloes. Consider what it would have been like for them to not only hear that Jesus had risen from the grave, but also to perhaps see Jesus after He had been raised from death to life. I can’t help but wonder if Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were among the one-hundred and twenty in the upper room and/or if they weren’t part of the five hundred whom the apostle Paul writes in the epistle written unto the Corinthians Jesus appeared to after His resurrection. It is something worth thinking about when you consider how incredibly powerful it might have been for Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to have prepared the lifeless body of Christ for burial, to have wrapped His lifeless body in linen garments, and then to lay it in the borrowed tomb before rolling the stone before the entrance, and then possibly being part of those who would see, witness and experience the resurrected Jesus after He had risen from the dead. Imagine being those who actually buried the person of Jesus Christ, who actually rolled the stone before the entrance of the tomb to possibly be among those who would see the resurrected Christ. Although Scripture does not reveal this actually happened and actually took place I can’t help but think about how much of an incredible witness and testimony this truly would have been to see the person of Jesus Christ no longer dead and lifeless, no longer bound in linen garments, and very much alive. How much of a powerful and wonderful testimony it truly would have been to think about and consider this Pharisee and this disciples of Jesus the Christ witnessing and beholding the absolutely wonderful and powerful testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and seeing this one whom they had buried physically alive and in the flesh. It was one thing for these disciples of Christ to see Jesus crucified and perhaps even buried in the tomb, however it would have been something altogether and entirely different to see and witness Jesus alive after having been the ones who buried Him.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider Joseph of Arimathea and how his actions would be mightily and powerfully used by the living and eternal God to care for and preserve the physical body of Jesus the Christ. Even though at that point in time Jesus the Christ would have been dead and His body lifeless there is something incredibly powerful when you think about how this disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ was actually used to care for, protect and preserve the physical body of Jesus the Christ and guarantee that His body was not discarded, or perhaps even destroyed. We already know that He was beaten and scourged beyond recognition, however, I can’t help but imagine what it would and could have been like had the physical body of Jesus simply been discarded. I wonder what would and what could have happened to the physical body of Jesus had Joseph of Arimathea not boldly come before and unto Pontius Pilate and earnestly beg for the body of Jesus. I can’t help but think about and consider the tremendous truth of this disciple would have been used by the living and eternal God to care for, look after, and tend after the lifeless body of the Lord Jesus Christ to faithfully protect it. In all reality, I would dare say that the actions of Joseph of Arimathea weren’t merely about burying the lifeless body of Jesus Christ, but about securing the body in a tomb until the third day when He would be raised from death to life. Think about the fact that the Romans could have taken the lifeless body of Jesus Christ down off the cross, and they could have simply buried it wherever they wanted to, and/or even discarded it according to their own wishes and desires. That which Joseph of Arimathea actually did was take the physical body of Jesus and give it a resting place where it would remain and abide until the third day when the Spirit of the living God would indeed and would in fact raise Him up from death to life again. Stop and consider the truly wonderful and powerful truth that this disciple was mightily and powerfully used by the living and eternal God to provide a resting place for the body of Christ during those three days He would be dead within and upon the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of how incredibly powerful this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to just how wonderful and incredible this actually is. It is truly something astonishing and worth thinking about when you read the narrative of Joseph of Arimathea and how he was mightily used by the living and eternal God to provide a resting place for Christ until the power of God might be manifested in the earth.

            PROVIDING A RESTING PLACE FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST UNTIL THE POWER OF GOD CAN BE MANIFESTED IN THE EARTH! We dare not and must not overlook how incredibly powerful and captivating this truly is, for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful reality that this disciple was used of the living God for more than simply burying the person of Jesus Christ, but He was actually used to provide a resting place for the body of Christ—not only so the Spirit of Christ could descend into the depths of the earth and conquer death, hell and the grave, but also until the power of God might be manifested in the midst of the earth as Jesus would be raised from death to life. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it is truly something worth thinking about and considering how this disciple of Jesus the Christ was used mightily by the living and eternal God to provide a place where the body of Jesus might be temporarily parked while His Spirit man would accomplish and complete the work which needed to be done in the spiritual and unseen realm. There was the work which was done while on the cross, and there was a work which needed to be done in the unseen and spiritual realm. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this, for what Joseph of Arimathea would indeed and would in fact do was provide a temporary resting place for the body of Jesus Christ while He would descend into the depths of the earth and preach unto those who were captives. How truly awesome and powerful it is that Joseph of Arimathea would provide for Christ a resting place for His body while His Spirit would indeed and would in fact engage in a work that was so much greater and so much larger than that which anyone could think or imagine. Joseph of Arimathea would provide a resting place for the physical body of Christ until the appointed time on the third day when the Spirit of the living God would indeed and would in fact raise Jesus up from the dead.

            There is something absolutely powerful and astonishing when you think about and consider the words found in the gospel narratives concerning this Joseph of Arimathea, for while on the surface it might very well have looked like he was simply wrapping the body of Jesus in linen garments, placing His lifeless body in a borrowed tomb, and indeed burying him, there was something so much deeper and something so much greater. Oh while the physical body of Jesus would remain within a borrowed tomb and behind a large stone rolled before the entrance of the tomb on the surface, there would be a much deeper and much more serious work which would and could take place. Stop and think about the fact that every unclean spirit, ever demon, every ruler of darkness, every spiritual wickedness in high places, every principality thought that Jesus was dead. Now stop and consider what it must have been like for Jesus to show up in Spirit form in the midst of Sheol that He might conquer death, hell and the grave—and not only conquer death, hell and the grave, but also take and lay hold of the keys of them. We must needs recognize and understand that when Jesus rose from the grave on the third day He rose with the keys of death, hell and the grave with Him. Not only this, but He would indeed and would in fact cause countless other righteous saints to emerge from their graves which were opened and unlocked upon His death upon the cross. How incredibly powerful it is to think about the fact that Joseph of Arimathea was used by the living God in the physical and natural realm to secure the lifeless body of Christ and provide for it a resting place in the heart of the worth while His spirit person could go to work in the unseen and spiritual realm. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for this disciple’s actions were mightily used by the living God—not only to provide a resting place for the body until the third day when Jesus would be raised from death to life, but also to provide a resting place for the body of Jesus while His spirit man would engage in an unseen work which would take place in the spiritual and supernatural realm. We know that while in the flesh Jesus would cast out unclean spirits, however, that which He would do after His death and while His physical body remained lifeless in the midst of the tomb would take it to an entirely different level.

            I conclude this writing with an absolutely awesome and astonishing declaration concerning how awesome and amazing the actions of Joseph of Arimathea truly was when you take the time to think about and consider them. The actions of Joseph of Arimathea would be mightily used by the one true  and living God to preserve and protect the body of Jesus Christ from any who would seek to destroy it. What’s more, is that the actions of Joseph of Arimathea would be used to provide a temporary resting place for the physical body of Jesus while His spirit would indeed descend into the depths of the earth that He might accomplish a work that would extend beyond the cross. Oh we must needs realize and understand that there was indeed and there was in fact a work that would take place beyond the cross and would and could only take place in death and after Jesus had died upon the cross. I am convinced that it was not only necessary for Christ to die, but also for His body to be buried in a borrowed tomb in order that the work which would be done in the supernatural and spiritual realm might indeed be completed. It would be during those three days Jesus’ body was buried in the tomb and in the grave that His spirit man would indeed and would in fact lay hold of the keys of death, hell and the grave, and would completely destroy the one who had the power of death—namely, the devil. We must needs recognize and realize how truly awesome and spectacular the actions of Joseph of Arimathea truly was, for the actions of Joseph of Arimathea would be mightily and powerfully used by the Father in heaven to provide a resting place for the body of Jesus until that appointed time would and could come when the power of God might be manifested in the midst of the earth. How absolutely awesome and incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the actions of Joseph of Arimathea would be mightily and powerfully used by God to secure a resting place for the body of Jesus in order for the body to remain in a safe and secure place until the time would come when the Spirit of the living God would raise Jesus from the dead. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful and powerful truth that the actions of this disciple would be mightily used by the living God to accomplish a purpose that was far greater than he even thought or imagined. The question we must needs ask ourselves is what the living and eternal God is calling us to do in this life for and on behalf of His Son, and how committed and how devoted we truly are to Him.

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