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The Guard at the Tomb November 9, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 27:62-66.

Summary: In this passage, the representatives of the Sanhedrin enter the praetorium on the Passover to see Pilate. They state that while Jesus was alive, He asserted that He would rise from the dead after three days. They then order him to prevent His disciples from stealing His body – enabling them to “demonstrate” the veracity of His assertion.

Pilate responds by giving them a Roman guard. They then:

  • place some wax on the stone before His tomb
  • place some wax on the wall of His tomb
  • run some string to seal the wax
  • place the Roman guard before His tomb.

Thoughts: Here, the Jewish religious elite order Pilate to prevent Jesus’ disciples from stealing His body. Ryle offers some insights on this point:

They little thought what they were doing; they little thought that unwittingly they were providing the most complete evidence of the truth of Christ’s coming resurrection. They were actually making it impossible to prove that there was any deception or imposition. Their seal, their guard, their precautions, were all to become witnesses, in a few hours, that Christ had risen. They might as well have tried to stop the tides of the sea, or to prevent the sun rising, as to prevent Jesus coming out of the tomb.

The Jewish religious elite were convinced that Jesus would not rise from the dead. They did believe that His disciples could steal His body from His tomb, and so they took what they believed to be appropriate precautions. Broadly speaking, it is amazing that God can work through the plans of those who oppose Him; while they utilize their limited knowledge and understanding to advance their plans, He utilizes His omniscience and omnipotence to advance His plans. As modern-day believers, we must maintain our confidence in this point as we are confronted by the apparent triumph of evil throughout the world on a daily basis.

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The Burial of Jesus November 4, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 27:57-61.

Summary: In this passage, a rich man from Arimathea, Joseph, goes to Pilate between three and six in the afternoon. When he begs for the body of Jesus, Pilate accepts his request. Joseph then:

  • takes His body and wraps it in linen
  • places it in a tomb that has been cut by hand out of a wall of rock
  • rolls a stone across the door of the tomb and leaves.

Mary Magdalene and Mary – the mother of James the Less – remain by the tomb.

Thoughts: Here, Joseph of Arimathea boldly asks Pilate for the body of Jesus. Ryle offers some thoughts on this point:

A man named Joseph, of Arimathea, comes forward when our Lord is dead and asks permission to bury him. We have never heard of this man at any former period of our Lord’s earthly ministry: we never hear of him again. We know only that he was a disciple who loved Christ and did him honor.

I anticipate meeting Joseph in the next life and learning more about him. How did he come to faith in Christ? Did he witness any of the miracles that He performed during His earthly ministry? How did he respond to His death? How did he summon the courage to ask Pilate for His body? How did he respond to the news of His resurrection? Did he actually see Him after that dramatic event? How did he live after His ascension? Was he persecuted by the Jews? On a more frivolous note, what are his thoughts on the legend that he possessed the Holy Grail?