Jesus’ burial means that we can let go of our interest in this world, and that the world can lose its interest in us.
READ IN YOUR BIBLE:
“He had done no wrong, and He never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave.”
“Fancy tomb for a criminal”, said the guard, shuffling his feet to keep warm.
“Ah, it’s not his,” replied his companion, “some rich fella offered it for him.”
“Still, pretty nice”.
The guard looked around. “What exactly are we guarding it against?”
The other guard laughed, “The priests are paranoid someone’s going to steal the body.”
“So, his followers can pretend he’s come alive again, I suppose. Like that will ever happen!”
“Yeah, like that will ever … Wait! Did you feel that?”
Buried, But Not for Long
The bodies of crucified criminals were usually thrown on the city dump, outside Jerusalem. Through the intervention of friends, Jesus avoided this fate. This fulfilled the words written five hundred years earlier by Isaiah. He was buried like a criminal because He was executed as a criminal. It was a rushed burial, late in the day, without the usual preparations afforded to respectable men. At the same time, He was put in a rich man’s tomb, even given a military escort. What a paradox!
But Jesus would not use the tomb for long. It was never God’s plan for Him to rot in the grave. The apostle Peter, in His first sermon in the book of Acts, makes the connection between Jesus’ burial and the writings of David from a thousand years before. King David said this about him, ‘My body rests in hope. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave’ . Think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet … David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection (Acts 2:25-31 NLT).
Jesus Himself also predicted His short stay in the tomb. Speaking to the teachers of religious law and Pharisees, He said, “…as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40 NLT). It could not be clearer that Jesus didn’t expect to stay dead. For Jesus, every trial, even death itself had an expiry date. And so it is for all who believe in Him.
If Jesus’ burial proved one thing, it was that He was really dead. His friends would never have buried Him if they thought He could have survived. His enemies would have never let His body go if they hadn’t finished the job. He was certainly dead, dead as can be. This is how dead, Paul says, we should be to the world. He says, “may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died” (Galatians 6:14 NLT).
This is what we say when we go through water baptism. When we step into the water, we associate ourselves with the voluntary death of Jesus. When we go under the water, we associate ourselves with the burial of our Lord. When we come out of the water, we are raised into a new way of living…God’s way of living. And you will forever be with Him.
God, my Father. Thank you that Jesus died for me. Thank You His death was proven by His burial in the tomb. Thank You, as I associate with Jesus’ death and burial, my interest in the world will dim, and I can give myself to Your Kingdom and righteousness. Please help me do this. Amen.