The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 6 - Day 5
The Burial of Jesus
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 23:50-56 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
The burial of Jesus in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, “and they made his grave with the wicked (referring to his crucifixion between two criminals), and with a rich man in his death (referring to his tomb).” Luke notes that Joseph was a good and righteous man who did not consent to the decision of the council to condemn Jesus. This would have taken significant courage on his part. It also took courage to ask Pilate for the body of Jesus. That Joseph was wealthy and influential may have given him the access and courage to approach Pilate.
There has been much made of the fact that Jesus was wrapped in a linen shroud. The use of a shroud would have been practical since people were generally crucified naked. This would also have been why the women stood at a distance to observe the crucifixion. The Shroud of Turin purports to be this linen garment in which Jesus was wrapped but researchers tend to dismiss the possibility. As the donkey on which Jesus rode on Palm Sunday had never been ridden, so no one had ever been laid in this tomb. Both these signify their special appropriateness for a sacred use. Because the following day was a Sabbath, it was important for all preparations to be completed before sunset. As it was already late in the day, we assume that some of the ordinary preparations were rushed. For that reason, the women thought to finish them Sunday morning, after the day of rest was over, and began to prepare spices accordingly.
What is very important about this story is that the women saw where Jesus was buried. This enabled them to find the tomb when they returned on Sunday morning.
Things to consider –
· Notice the providence of God that someone, Joseph, had a suitable burial place already prepared, in which Jesus could be laid.
· How difficult do you think it was for Joseph to disagree with the majority of the Jewish ruling council?
· How vocal do you think he was in his opposition?
· When was the last time you did something that took real courage?
· When was the last time that you allowed the use of something that belonged to you for a sacred or special purpose?
· Do you tend to think of small avenues of service as important? Are there small but practical things you are able to do to further Christ’s kingdom and work?
Guide for prayer –
· Take 1 minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Thank God for Jesus. Thank God for his teachings, his example, and his ministry. Thank God that he identified with us even to the point of experiencing death, just as all humans.
· Imagine the scene of Jesus being laid in the tomb. If you had been there, what would have been your emotions? What would you have felt?
· Ask God to allow you the privilege, like Joseph, of using some of your goods, talents, and ability to be of service to him.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers seem appropriate.