HOLY WEEK: They Made His Grave with the Wicked
Jesus prepared His disciples for the fact that He would be crucified and placed in the grave—but only for three days (Mt. 16:21). The following Scripture passages provide historical documentation for the Christian faith powerfully demonstrating the fulfillment of prophesy.
Describing what could only be a crucifixion some nine centuries before the Romans began using the practice, David prophetically describes the Lord’s death:
For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
Significantly, the apostle Mark records the following:
And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
Jesus was not a victim of circumstances, but was in complete control of His prophesied destiny. He predicted His own death when He told the Pharisees:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Jon. 1:17).
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Just as Isaiah predicted, Jesus was taken down from the cross and placed in a rich man’s grave close to the crucifixion site near Golgotha. The apostle John recounts his eye-witness report in the following:
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission.
So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
Jesus repeatedly told His disciples that He would suffer many things and put to death, but He also asserted that He would “be raised on the third day” (Mt. 16:21).
The disciples were so overwrought by the injustice of our Lord’s death, they initially failed to see His willingness to go to the cross as a powerful demonstration of God’s love for us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus’ death as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin was the ultimate demonstration of God’s love. The apostle John explains, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16-17).
IMAGES (Used for illustrative purposes):
1) Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix (What Our Lord Saw from the Cross). By James Tissot [PD-US, PD-Art]/Wikimedia/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
2) Jésus seul sur la Croix (Jesus Alone on the Cross). By James Tissot/Purchased by Public Subscription, Brooklyn Museum. [No known copyright restrictions]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
3) Joseph d’Arimathie va trouver Pilate pour lui demander la permission d’enlever le corps de Jésus (Joseph of Arimathaea Seeks Pilate to Beg Permission to Remove the Body of Jesus. By James Tissot/Purchased by Public Subscription, Brooklyn Museum/[No known copyright restrictions]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
4) Jésus porté au tombeau (Jesus Carried to the Tomb). By James Tissot/ Purchased by Public Subscription, Brooklyn Museum/[No known copyright restrictions]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
5) Jésus dans le sépulcre (Jesus in the Sepulchre). By James Tissot/Purchased by Public Subscription, Brooklyn Museum/[No known copyright restrictions]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios
Copyright © 2018 Charles E. McCracken, commentary only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.