God’s Saving Word: Hope
Matthew 27:57-66: Joseph of Arimathea buries Jesus’s body, and Mary Magdalene and the other Mary keep watch at the tomb. Pilate sends soldiers to guard the tomb as well, in order to prevent Jesus’s disciples from stealing his body and claiming he had been raised from death.
The Burial of Jesus
57 When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph. 59 So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, 60 and placed it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, facing the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, ‘I will be raised to life three days later.’ 64 Give orders, then, for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day, so that his disciples will not be able to go and steal the body, and then tell the people that he was raised from death. This last lie would be even worse than the first one.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate told them; “go and make the tomb as secure as you can.”
66 So they left and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guard on watch.
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 27:59, 60a
So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet, and placed it in his own tomb, which he had just recently dug out of solid rock.
Mary Magdalene and others keep vigil at Jesus’s tomb. For many Christians today, it is a time of mourning over the past and hoping for the future. On this day before Easter, reflect on your past year, and consider how you will follow the ways of Jesus as you prepare to celebrate his resurrection.
Lord Jesus, I await your coming. Renew my spirit and prepare my heart to experience the joy of your resurrection. Amen.
Matthew 28:1-20: Jesus is raised to life.