Hello everyone, my name is Logan Harvey. I’m a sophomore studying music education and I serve on the worship team here at the BCM! I am so excited to get to dive into Jesus’ burial today because honestly it was not something I previously knew a lot about. It was amazing getting to study and truly see how detailed and intentional God is. For today’s scriptures I will be using NIV, and I would like to start by reading through all of Isaiah 53.
This section of Isaiah prophecies the entire life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Prior to this chapter Isaiah is prophesying a time of salvation from Israel’s captors (Babylon) but also from sin and death. It is then revealed that the savior will be the son of God and he will come and live a perfect life and be pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5). In verse 9 where I will be residing today, we see that Christ would be buried in a tomb of the wicked.
Before we can unpack this verse however, we need to understand the importance of burial in biblical times. All throughout scripture we see very detailed accounts of burial for many people. Burial was a way to not only honor someone’s life but also to unite families and the Jewish people all together. Look at Genesis 35:29, this depicts the death of Isaac and the phrase “was gathered to his people” is one that we frequently see in reference to burial. When David was buried (1 Kings 2:10) it says that he “rested with his ancestors”. Burial was a time when the dead would be honored for what they had done in life, and then buried in death to rest until the coming of the messiah, who would raise them back up. This is a very brief overview so if you want to know more, I encourage you to read more on it!
Now that we’ve got the burial part down, we can begin to get into the good stuff! So, we know that Isaiah prophesied Jesus would be “assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death”. Before we get too far in, I want to clear up that Isaiah is not saying Jesus would be buried with other dead people who were rich or wicked, rather he would be buried by them. We know this to be true when we get to Matthew 27:57-61, our fulfillment verse for today’s devotional! In this passage we see that Joseph, a rich man, and Nicodemus buried Jesus. Joseph and Nicodemus were both members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council that crucified Jesus. These 2 men were believers in Jesus but they feared man and so they would not speak up and support him in front of the Sanhedrin. But they asked Pilot if they could have his body to bury him even though it would potentially put them in danger. We see that Joseph bought and prepared a new tomb for Jesus. This new tomb was a Garden tomb (John 19:38-42) which is traditionally where Kings were buried which showed Joseph honoring Christ as king in burial. I encourage you all to take time now and to thank God for Christ and to give his son honor and praise for the sacrifice and love he had for the world.
As I said previously, I learned a lot about burial during my preparation for this devotional, but I also got to see the detailed work of our God. If we look at how Jesus was buried, we see that Joseph and Nicodemus used roughly 75 pounds of aloes and myrrh (John 19:38-42) to anoint Jesus. This was not traditionally the way to do this. Burial was a practice that took several days and lots of care. However, the Passover festival was coming soon and one of the requirements for this festival was that the first day was to be a sabbath (day of rest). This meant Joseph and Nicodemus had to use these aloes rather than washing and then anointing Jesus to help his body decay. The detail I see here is how these anointing oils on their own were not permanent and would not keep his body for very long, but this did not matter because he would not remain in the grave. We serve a God who is so detailed that his son was still honored in his death but given a temporary burial because he knew he would later rise. Take time now and thank God for how detailed He is.
From Isaiah 53:9 to Matthew 27:57-61, we see how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy. He was buried by the rich and wicked. Joseph and Nicodemus were wealthy members of the council that decided to crucify Jesus, but they feared man more than they feared God, so they did not speak out against his crucifixion. What is so beautiful about this is how we see that all are welcomed by Christ, he did not come to save the righteous but to redeem the sinner. He was buried not with his family or with anyone else but by himself as a symbol of new life, a symbol that anyone could now join him if they just believed in him. That promise has never changed, and we are still blessed today to be able to say that we too can be buried with Christ and given new life. Please use this time today to praise God for his son’s death that gave everyone the ability to have eternal life.
What other ways do you see Gods attention to detail in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
What ways do you see Gods detail in your own life, specifically in your own salvation?
How have you seen God using you to impact others salvations?