Matthew 27:55-56 The Burial of Jesus

Matt 27:55-56 The Burial of Jesus CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

We are given quite a few details concerning the people and events surrounding the burial of Jesus. Not all of the details are found in Matthew, but rather in all of the gospels. Therefore, we will break our study down into separate sections dealing with each of these items to make it easier for us to see what was going on.

Joseph of Arimathaea – Joseph was:
From Arimathaea – identified by his city but no one is sure where it was
A rich man (Matt 27:57) thus fulfilling Is 53:9
Jesus’ disciple (Matt 27:57), a secret one for fear of the Jews (Jn 19:38; 12:42-43)
An honorable counselor (Mk 15:43) but he had not consented to the counsel of them that chose to crucify Christ (Lk 23:51)
A good man (Lk 23:50)
A just man (Lk 23:50)
He waited for the kingdom of God (Lk 23:51; like Simon and Anna did Lk 2:25, 38)
He begged Pilate for the body of Jesus (Matt 27:58)

Nicodemus – showed up to help Joseph (Jn 19:39; Jn 3:1)

The preparation of the body –
First Joseph took the body down (Lk 23:53)
Then they took the body and wound it in clean fine linen (Matt 27:59; Mk 15:46; like the clean fine linen of his bride Rev 19:8) according to the Jewish manner (Jn 19:40; Jn 11:44)
They wrapped it with about a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes (Jn 19:39; Ps 45:8)

The tomb – It was:
Joseph’s (Matt 27:60)
New (Matt 27:60; no man was ever laid there Jn 19:41) – to keep from defiling the high priest (Heb 7:26; Lev 21:1, 11)
Hewn out in rock (Matt 27:60)
In a garden (Jn 19:41) – because the sin that caused his death originated in a garden (Gen 3)
Near where he was crucified (Jn 19:42) – so the RCC has it wrong
Shut with a great stone (Matt 27:60)

The women –
Mary Magdelene and Mary the mother of James and Joses watched where they buried him (Matt 27:61, 56; Mk 15:47)
They had followed him from Galilee (Matt 27:55; Lk 23:55)
They returned to prepare spices and ointments (Lk 23:56)
The Sabbath following the preparation –
The day Jesus was crucified was the Passover. It was also called the “preparation” because it was the day that they prepared for the feast of unleavened bread, the seven day feast that followed the Passover (Ex 12:14-17).
The first day of this feast was a sabbath (Lk 23:54; Mk 15:42) – this happened to be Thursday, not Saturday, the day of the weekly Sabbath. So, between the crucifixion and the resurrection, there were actually two Sabbaths.
The Jews were commanded to rest on that day (Lk 23:56; Lk 23:6-8)

The chief priests and Pharisees –
Instead of resting, they went to Pilate (Matt 27:62)
They called Jesus “that deceiver” (Matt 27:63; contrast Rev 12:9)
They asked Pilate to secure the grave (Matt 27:64)
They were afraid that the disciples would steal his body and claim that he had risen from the dead (Matt 27:64)
They admitted that the crucifixion was an error (Matt 27:64)
Pilate gave them soldiers to set a watch and seal the stone (Matt 26:65, 66)
But Pilate doubted whether this would work when he said, “Make it as sure as ye can.”