Saturday Of Holy Week – Jesus’ Body Laid In A New Tomb

Friday afternoon was when Jesus died. It was important to the Jewish leaders that He die quickly and be taken off of the cross before sundown. Because that was when the Sabbath started. A man named Joseph revealed his commitment to Jesus as he asked for His body to put in his grave. Therefore, during Saturday of Holy Week, Jesus’ body laid in a new tomb.

Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. . . . The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.  John 19:38, 41-42

In the meantime, the disciples were hiding. Verse 19 of John 20 says this. The disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The women on the other hand didn’t fear the authorities. They kept an eye on where the Lord’s body was taken and started preparations to anoint it.

Saturday of Holy Week was the Sabbath

As his body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw the tomb where his body was placed. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to anoint his body. But by the time they were finished the Sabbath had begun, so they rested as required by the law. Luke 23:55-56 

Nicodemus was the one who purchased the spices that the women were preparing. Seventy-five pounds of it. He was the one who visited Jesus at night as recorded in John 3. It was their conversation when Jesus said, you must be born again. Also, it was in that setting when Jesus said John 3:16. The verse that is quoted more than any other verse in the Bible.

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were members of the Sanhedrin. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus. They were afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.

The Jewish leaders were concerned that someone might steal the body of Jesus from the tomb. The last thing they needed was a missing body with the claims that Jesus rose from the dead. Therefore they requested the tomb be guarded.

The Tomb of a Sealed Tomb was Guarded

The next day, on the Sabbath, the leading priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate. They told him, “Sir, we remember what that deceiver once said while he was still alive: ‘After three days I will rise from the dead.’ So we request that you seal the tomb until the third day. This will prevent his disciples from coming and stealing his body. . . . Pilate replied, “Take guards and secure it the best you can.” So they sealed the tomb and posted guards to protect it. Matthew 27:62-64, 65-66

We don’t know when Jesus left the tomb in bodily form, we just know he did. Between the time they laid him in the tomb until the stone was rolled away, Jesus was busy working. Paul told us in Ephesians that Christ descended to the lower parts. In Revelation, it says this.

I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. Revelation 1:18

That Saturday of Holy Week was a very quiet day. The next day however, Resurrection Sunday would be a day of celebration. These events were planned and ordained by God Himself so that we could have eternal life with Him.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18-19

Related Posts

All of the other related Holy Week Posts include the following. 

All Of The Holy Week Posts

Feature Image Photo by Jean Papillon on Unsplash

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