So they took the body of Jesus

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was 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 away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 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 because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. John 19:38-42

One of the arguments against the resurrection is that Jesus’ body was never buried. This argument rests on the fact that the Romans were not concerned with the disposition of the bodies of criminals. People who were crucified were left on their crosses for days, sometimes until they fell off the cross. When the bodies were taken down they would be tossed into a pit where dogs and other animals would eat the bodies. So, left up to the Romans, Jesus’ would most likely not have been buries.

What this theory misses is it does not take into account Jewish customs and burial practices. God’s law required that dead bodies not be left unburied less they defile the land. So it was the Jewish custom to bury all dead as soon as possible. In fact they buried their dead the same day. If at all possible they would not let a body lay overnight. We see this same custom in the Middle East today. And today observant Jews still bury their dead the same day is possible. So which custom took precedent, Roman or Jewish?

The Romans were very practical rulers. As long as the conquered people swore allegiance to Rome and Caesar they were content to let the people observe their religious customs and practices. The fact is it was of little concern to the Romans what the Jews did with Jesus’ body. So when Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus asked for Jesus body Pilate had no problem giving them the body. Pilate’s order to kill Jesus had been carried out and he was no longer concerned with Jesus.

So they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths along with about 75 pounds of spices and aloes. These burial wrappings would have been very tight. In fact when Jesus raised Lazarus, Jesus commanded the onlookers to free Lazarus from the bindings. Even if Jesus had somehow survived the scourging, crucifixion and a spear thrust into His body a mere man so weakened would not have been able to get free of the wrappings. Let alone move a massive stone at the tomb door. No, Jesus died on the cross that Friday and was buried in a new tomb the same day.

Come Sunday, the world would change forever.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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