That evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he had become a student of Jesus (216). He was also a member of the ruling council of Jewish elders, but he had not supported their campaign against Jesus.

Joseph went to Pilate & asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. He called the officer in charge of the execution detail & asked him if Jesus had been dead a long time.  After hearing the officer’s report, Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.

body from cross

Nicodemus was another Jewish elder; he had first  gone to see Jesus at night & later questioned the campaign against Jesus.  Nicodemus now went with Joseph to care for the body of Jesus, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes.

The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial.  Then they placed it in Joseph’s own tomb, which he had recently dug out of solid rock.


Finally, they rolled a large stone across the entrance to the tomb & went away.

The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee saw the tomb & how Jesus’ body was laid in it. Then they went back home and prepared more spices & perfumes for the body. But on the Sabbath day they rested, as the Jewish law required.

On the day of Jesus’ burial, the chief priests and the Pharisees met with Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember that while that liar was still alive he said, ‘I will be raised to life three days later.’  Please give orders, then, for his tomb to be carefully guarded until the third day, so that his friends will not be able to steal the body and then tell the people that he was raised from death. This last lie would be even worse than the first.”

“Take guards,” Pilate told them; “go & make the tomb as secure as you can.” So they left & made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and leaving the guards on watch.


(216) Matthew 27:57-66, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42