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September 13, 2015

"HIS BURIAL AND OURS"

TEXT: John 19: 38-42
READING:
 Hebrews 2: 1-18

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SUBJ: The burial of Christ and the implications to us of His submission to physical death and burial wherein we are assured of a bodily resurrection and the fear of the grave is taken away.

AIM: That we might realize and thus meditate upon the fact that all that Christ did was both necessary to the will of God and essential to salvation.

INTR: The work of Christ in assuring the redemption of His people is drawing to a close and none of what was done was apart from necessity.
1. The integrity of God is such that it is said of Him that “He cannot deny Himself.”
2. Applying this to all that occurred relative to the crucifixion we understand that nothing could move these things from what had been determined and much of which had been prophesied.
3. It is realizing this that we are constrained to think on the divine determination and the exacting work and thus to know the measure of the love of God for His own. He was obedient, even to the death of the cross!

THESIS: The work of God in Christ was not concluded when the religionists and the crowds thought it was all done – the ministry of Christ on earth continued even to the grave.

I. Joseph and Nicodemus (vv. 38-40)
1. Joseph moved with urgency that even he might not have understood,
2. We would be reminded that the body of Jesus might have been quickly taken down for disposal in the normal manner were it not for the appearance of Joseph.
1) One who waited for the Kingdom of God and
2) A disciple of Jesus?
3) For fear of the Jews – perhaps a matter of discretion as much as craven fear
4) But, this action brought him into the record and so his devotion is known.
3. Likewise with Nicodemus – from seeing Him as a “man sent from God” to now esteeming Him with great honor. Were he concerned with the Jews he would not have touched the body!!
4. We are again reminded of the matter of prophecy and the will of God.

II. Some Garden Theology (v. 41)
1. There is much significance attached to gardens in the Scripture
2. I am often reminded of the Lord’s view of His people: A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Song of Songs 4:12.
3. Not lost on us is the setting of the beginning of God’s dealings with man and the innocence that was first found there but it was also the setting for the loss of innocence and the entry of sin and death into the world.
1) There it was that the curse was pronounced upon the creation
2) There it was declared that the way of the tree of life was to be barred from them
3) There it was learned of evil and death.
4. Then it was in a garden that Jesus prayed and in which He was betrayed.
5. And then we read that there was a garden nearby and the never used sepulcher of Joseph
1) Compare: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24
2) And compare: 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Romans 6:4-5.

III. The burial done (v. 42)
1. With the prophecies fulfilled and salvation accomplished preparations are made for the final declaration of victory.
1) The body of Jesus was lovingly laid with all the attention well-meaning humans could give.
2) The tomb was sealed and that not without purpose – every detail to verify His death and subsequent resurrection were in order.
2. We are then reminded: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:9 AND For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Psalms 16:10
3. The scene was one of sadness and not of expectation, but nevertheless, the fear of death was being removed. Jesus and the penitent thief were together in paradise!
4. The women maintained their vigil and they had all done what they could.

MacLaren: “But that body reverently bedewed with tears, wrapped in fine linen clean and white, softly laid down by loving hands, watched by love stronger than death, lay in fitting repose as the corpse of a King till He came forth as a Conqueror. So once more the dominant note is struck, and this part of the prophecy closes with the emphatic repetition of the sinlessness of the Suffering Servant, which makes His sufferings a deep and bewildering mystery, unless they were endured because of ‘our transgressions.’”