Morning Bible Study
We’ve been following the events of Jesus’ last day before dying.
He had spent
the evening with the disciples eating, teaching, and praying.
He was arrested
in the Garden of Gethsemane and then put on trial before various leaders before
being unjustly condemned.
He was scourged. He was crucified. He died.
19:38-42 The Burial
:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but
secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body
of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of
This is not Jesus’ earthly dad. Mark tells us he was a
prominent member of the Sanhedrin (Mk.
us that he was a wealthy man (Mt.
This fulfills an odd prophecy:
(Is 53:9 NKJV) And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His
death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Jesus died with criminals, but was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
:38 of Arimathea
– from Ramah – “hill”
Arimathea map clip”
Joseph was from a town in the hills about five miles north of Jerusalem.
:39 And Nicodemus,
who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and
aloes, about a hundred pounds.
Nicodemus was the man who came to Jesus in John 3. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again.
Nicodemus was a
Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin (John 3:1).
In John 7:50, when some of the Jewish
leaders were trying to get Jesus arrested, Nicodemus was trying to get the Sanhedrin to take
time to listen to Jesus before judging Him.
The other leaders accused Nicodemus of being from Galilee (like saying
he was a hillbilly).
We see now that Nicodemus had taken that step to follow Jesus.
:39 myrrh and aloes
The spices were not used to embalm the body, but to perfume it as it decays.
This is a lot of spice, very, very costly.
:40 Then they
took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the
custom of the Jews is to bury.
:40 the custom of
The Jews don’t
practice embalming like the Egyptians did.
The body was typically wound in the linen with spices in between the layers
The point was to have the body decay, the collect and store the bones in a bone box
:41 Now in the
place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb
in which no one had yet been laid.
:41 in the place
where He was crucified
There are two
favorite views of the place where Jesus was crucified. The one that makes the most sense is called “Gordon’s
Calvary”. It is located north of the
Temple Mount, just outside the Damascus Gate.
Garden Tomb” map clip. It’s only about a
½ mile walk from the Antonio Fortress outside the Damascus Gate to Golgotha.
If “Gordon’s Calvary” is where Jesus was crucified, then we know what kind
of “garden” this was.
It was a
have discovered a winepress.
discovered a huge underground cistern for providing water. That means this was a wealthy man’s vineyard.
:41 new tomb
clarifies that it was Joseph of Arimathea’s own tomb (Mt. 27:60)
The “Garden Tomb” fits this “new” description. Inside the burial chamber there are spots for two bodies.
When you carve
out a tomb, you make little “beds” for the bodies to be laid upon.
You don’t finish carving out the bed until the person’s death, to make sure
that the body will fit in the carved out portion.
The Garden Tomb has one spot “finished”, the other spot was not finished.
:42 So there they
laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
:42 there they laid
The burial of
Jesus is a part of the “gospel”.
(1 Co 15:3–4 NKJV) —3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that
He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
The burial speaks of the finality and completeness of His death.
He didn’t just “faint”. He was dead
Dead and Buried
When we are baptized and lowered into the water, there is a sense in which
we identify with Jesus’ death and burial.
(Ro 6:4 NKJV) Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ
was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should
walk in newness of life.
I wonder if
there isn’t a correlation between the victory of our new life in Christ, and
the extent to which
we’ve learned to be “buried” with Him.
Paul talks about this process:
(Ro 6:11–13 NKJV) —11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,
but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal
body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments
of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
I think that sometimes we treat our old sin nature, our “old man”, with a
bit too much kindness.
We might rough
up the old man, tie him up, and then stick him in the back closet of our life and close the
But we aren’t quite ready to put that part of our life to death.
We might keep
the old man prisoner and just
feed him bread and water.
But if the old man were a corpse, we wouldn’t feed it at all.
(Ga 6:7–8 NKJV) —7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap
corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting
What does that look like?
There’s an old Eskimo proverb: “There are two dogs fighting inside of you. The dog you feed is the one that wins”.
you feeding the flesh or the Spirit?
Maybe we should learn to starve the flesh a little more. Does that make sense?
20:1-10 The Empty
:1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early,
while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the
:1 the first day of
This is Sunday. Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.
:1 Mary Magdalene
Jesus’ inner group of disciples not only included the twelve disciples, but
“certain women” who had been helped by Jesus.
Magdalene had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus (Luke 8:2). She was NOT the wife of Jesus.
Mary does not
come alone, but is accompanied at least by “another Mary”, and Salome (Mark 16:1).
They are coming to add even more spices to Jesus’ body.
:1 went to the tomb
One of the issues raised by the critics about the resurrection is the
possibility that they all simply went to the wrong tomb.
Keep in mind, Mary knew where the tomb was.
Mary and the
other women were there when Joseph buried the body (Lk 23:55)
And even if all the disciples went to the wrong tomb, then why didn’t the
chief priests simply produce the body when word gets out that Jesus has risen?
:1 the stone
– lithos – a stone
engineers have estimated that it would have taken a stone of 1 to 1 ½ tons to cover the
entrance (Josh McDowell, “A Ready Defense”).
Covering a tomb with a stone kept animals and thieves out.
The chief priests were concerned about keeping someone else out as well.
They asked Pilate to send Roman soldiers to guard the tomb and put a seal
on it. (Mat. 27:62-66)
The Roman guard
contingent would consist of 4-16 men.
“seal” on the stone meant stretching a rope across it and melting a wax seal on
it. If you broke the seal, you’d have to
deal with the wrath of Rome.
:1 taken away
– airo – to raise up, elevate, lift
It wasn’t rolled downhill, it had been rolled uphill.
In case you are one who thinks Jesus didn’t really die, but just “swooned”,
you have to account for how this severely beaten man was able to roll a one ton
stone uphill to get out of the tomb.
:2 Then she ran
and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said
to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know
where they have laid Him.”
:2 the other
disciple, whom Jesus loved
This is John’s
way of referring to himself.
:3 Peter therefore
went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
:4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came
to the tomb first.
– protrecho – to run before, to
As we’ve mentioned before, John makes a point of telling us details that
the other gospels have not told us.
I was searching and actually found some old archival footage of Peter and
John running with the other disciples as they trained for this day near the Sea
Here John is
gracious enough to let us know who won the footrace to the tomb.
:5 And he, stooping down
and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.
:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw
the linen cloths lying there,
:7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the
linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.
:6 he saw
– theoreo – to be a spectator, look
at, behold; a word not used of an indifferent spectator, but of one who looks
at a thing with interest and for a purpose; would be used of a general
officially reviewing or inspecting his army
The word that’s used to describe John looking (blepo, vs. 5) into the tomb is a more common word for
“seeing”. But here, Peter is taking time to inspect what he
sees. Perhaps like a detective looking
at the forensic evidence.
:6 linen cloths
– othonion – a piece of linen, small
linen cloth; strips of linen cloth for swathing the dead
Some see this
word describing strips of cloth used to wrap around a body, like the
traditional movie “mummy”.
Others see this
word describing a sheet, perhaps similar to (but not necessarily) the Shroud of
– soudarion – a handkerchief; a cloth
for wiping perspiration from the face and for cleaning the nose and also used
in swathing the head of a corpse
:7 folded together
– entulisso (“in” + “to twist”) – to
roll up, wrap together
notice that there are two sets of cloth in the tomb.
There are the “linen cloths”, the part that covered the body in one pile.
The smaller cloth that covered the head is folded up by itself.
:8 Then the other
disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
:9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from
:9 He must rise
It seems as if at this point the disciples still hadn’t been taking Jesus
seriously about rising from the dead.
It seems as if the chief priests had taken Jesus more seriously than the
disciples did (after all, they ordered the guards).
Later, the disciples will begin to learn the Scriptures that pointed to the
On the day of Pentecost, Peter will quote from the Psalms:
(Ps 16:10 NKJV) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your
Holy One to see corruption.
:10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.
Peter and John walk away, partly believing, partly confused.
At some point Mary had arrived back at the tomb as well. They leave Mary standing at the tomb.
:8 he saw and
John records that this was the moment when he believed that Jesus had
Some of us require a lot more convincing, but with John it was simply one
look at the graveclothes and he believed.
For those of you still skeptical, keep coming. There’s more proof ahead.
For some of you, it’s time to believe.
John tells us the reason he wrote his gospel:
(Jn 20:30–31 NKJV) —30
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which
are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
John believed, like we do, that if you want to have
eternal life, you have to come to the point where you put your faith in Jesus.
You need to come to realize that Jesus Christ was real,
that He came to die on the cross to pay for your sins, and that He rose again.
You need to choose to follow Him.