The preparation for Passover was well under way and the Jews did not want the dead bodies of those who had been crucified to be left hanging; so they made a request to Pilate to have their legs broken to speed up the process of death. Pilate ordered the soldiers to go and see that it was done. When they got to Jesus, they discovered that he had already died, so to be sure, they pierced him in the side with a spear. In doing so, the witness of the scriptures was fulfilled:

Not one of his bones will be broken. They will look at the One they pierced.

Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Psalm 34:20, Zechariah 12:10

Now there was a man named Joseph who approached Pilate and requested that Jesus’ body be released to him for burial. Joseph was a wealthy man from the Judean town of Arimathea, who had been a secret follower of Jesus for some time. Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus had already died, so he summoned a centurion, who confirmed that it was true. Jesus of Nazareth was dead.

On hearing this, Pilate released the body to Joseph, who went and took Jesus down from the cross. Nicodemus, who had previously met with Jesus, helped Joseph with the burial preparations. The two men had to hurry, as it was nearly six in the evening and the Passover was about to begin. They anointed Jesus’ body with aromatic spices and wrapped him with clean linen cloths, according to the Jewish burial custom. Then they placed the body in a newly cut and unused tomb, that was located in the garden near to where Jesus had died. As they were leaving, they rolled a large stone over the entrance to the tomb.

Mary Magdalene went with Jesus’ mother to watch as Jesus was placed into the tomb and the entrance sealed.

The following day, some of the chief priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They said to him, “Sir, we remember that while this deceiver was still alive, he said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore, give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal Him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead!’ This deception would be worse than the first!”

Pilate replied, “Take a guard! Go and make it as secure as you know how.”

So they went and secured the tomb by sealing the stone in place. They then positioned the guard to stand watch over the entrance.

Take a moment to reflect on the story you have just read.
(sometimes it is helpful to read it again, slowly)

*Was there something in this story that you discovered—or thought about—for the first time?
*As you think about the story, what questions do you have? What do you wonder about?
*How might this story change your perspective / beliefs / behaviors?

I would love to hear what you are discovering as you think through these questions.
Comments are moderated to ensure they are relevant to the story and questions above.

If you would like to dig a little deeper into this story, you will find some further thoughts and questions here.

Easter Story
Return Of The King | Last Supper | Garden | Accusations | Denial | Sentenced | Crucifixion | Burial | Empty Tomb | Appearance

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