June 5: Jesus Buried (Matthew 27:55-66)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Numbers).
We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper together this Sunday, as we do the first Sunday of each month. In preparation for this visible celebration of the gospel, please take time to consider the state of your soul. Resolve conflicts that you have ignored, repent of sins that you have hidden, and consider the great love of a Savior who has reconciled us to God by his death and resurrection.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. (ESV)
I have never preached a sermon on the burial of Jesus, but I will this Sunday. While we tend to jump right from Jesus' death to his resurrection, the Bible stops for a moment on his burial. In fact, the early church emphasized it in the Apostle’s Creed, one of the earliest Christian documents. We say it following communion each month. After celebrating the table which visualizes our unity in the faith we say the creed which verbalizes our unity in the faith. But what is so important about Jesus’ burial that Paul would list it as of first importance? "Now I would remind you, brothers of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
The importance of Jesus being buried is not simply to establish the fact that Jesus actually died but that God will use this event to vindicate his Son as the Christ and King of the world through the resurrection. Please read through this passage of first importance and consider the implications of Jesus buried.
Review and Apply
1. What is the significance of the women present with Jesus at the cross, tomb and resurrection?
2. What do you learn about Joseph? How does he fulfill scripture?
3. Why is it helpful to consider the hardness of hearts in our attempts to witness to the resurrection?
4. How does this burial provide evidence for the resurrection?
5. How does this passage help us live in the tension of faith and difficulties in life?
6. How can you use this passage to help another brother or sister walk by faith in unresolved challenges in life?