It was the hour of the evening sacrifice when Jesus took His final breath and commended Himself to His heavenly Father’s hands. The final sacrifice was now complete. His distorted, gory, pitiful body was lifeless. It was getting late. The work of getting Jesus’ body into a grave and prepared for burial was drawing near. Soon it would be the Sabbath and no work could be done after that.
A follower of Jesus, named Joseph of Arimathea, asked to have the body placed in his own new tomb. Pilate obliged and Jesus was carried to the final resting place. The hour of the Sabbath had come, and it was too late to do any preparation of the body. A stone was placed over the opening, so that no one could do anymore harm to it.
The next day, the leaders of the church appeared before the governor and told him that Jesus had predicted His resurrection and insisted that something be done avoid the possibility of someone stealing His body and spreading another deception – one that would be worse than the first. A seal was placed on the stone and a guard stood steadfastly at his post.
Jesus, the Messiah, lay dead in the grave. This should’ve been the end of the story. His followers were wounded deeply by His passing. What had this all been for? Why did it have to end this way? We would’ve reacted in the same way. It seemed that all was lost.
This was just the beginning. This was no ordinary death and burial. This was no ordinary man. This was the Son of God, God in the flesh, who came to gain victory over death, so that we would never have to fear it!