2017-02-12 – John 19:31-42 – The Garden Tomb
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Good morning everyone. I am so pleased to see you all here today. I pray you had a good week and you are ready to hear what God has prepared for you to hear this morning.
What is todays date? February 12th, 2017 A.D. In the year of our Lord.
In our dating system, it is commonly thought that B.C. stands for “before Christ” and A.D. stands for “after death.” Actually this is only half correct. B.C. does stand for “before Christ.” However, A.D. actually stands for the Latin phrase ANNO DOMINI, which means “in the year of our Lord.” The B.C./A.D. dating system is not taught in the Bible, as it actually was not fully implemented and accepted until several centuries after Jesus’ death. [gotquestions.org]
It is interesting to note that the original purpose of the B.C./A.D. dating system was to make the birth of Jesus Christ the dividing point of all world history. However, when the B.C./A.D. system was being calculated, they made a mistake in pinpointing the year of Jesus’ birth. Scholars later discovered that Jesus was actually born around 6 B.C., not A.D. 1. However B.C. does mean “before Christ,” and since His birth, we have been living in A.D. “in the year of our Lord.” And regardless what we believe, one day, according to Phil 2:10, “at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Last week we completed the section where Jesus was crucified on the cross. We talked about the final word said before He died, Tetelestai, or “it is finished”. As I said earlier A.D. does not mean “After Death”, but when Jesus said “It is Finished” it was significant in that it meant He was finished what He came to this world to accomplish, He was finished with all the pain and suffering, and finished like in the term “Paid in Full”, as the full payment for my sin, past, present and future, was made by Jesus on that cross that day. But please notice that when Jesus said effectively It was finished, He did not say that He was finished, no no.. For really, He was just getting started. Praise the Lord.
Please turn in your Bible to John 19:31-42, or Page 114 in the Pew Bible. Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God [PRAYER]
31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity.
Just a reminder, all this that took place, the trials, the scourging, and the crucifixion on the day before Passover. The Jews called this day the day of Preparation in that they had to make super-clean the houses and synagogues for the most holy Passover festival. Even if a bread crumb was found during the Passover festival then it would be defiled. And they were preparing their dress, and preparing their food for the week-long affair. There is normally a lot of eating and dancing as well as remembrance. It says here that Passover Sabbath was a day of great solemnity. I looked up the synonyms for solemnity, they are somber, seriousness and gravity as related to God and the Passover event. Let me remind you that Passover was all about Jesus in how the blood of the lamb saved the Jewish children back when they were in Egypt. Now the Lamb of God, being Jesus, they just crucified on the cross. It is so solemn and somber for me to reflect on that now. How could they not recognize the Savior in Jesus that day..
So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
The Jewish leaders there, didn’t want their festival preparation to be delayed. The reason the soldiers would break the legs of those being crucified is so it would quicken their death. So those being crucified could no longer relieve their struggle for catching a breath of air by pushing up from their legs. Jesus already gave up His last breath on the cross. It was finished, so they didn’t have to break His legs.
34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”
In this passage, it says water came out of Jesus’s side mixed with His blood, probably indicating the soldier pierced His lung or His heart. But the symbolism here is astonishing. You might recall that Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine. And later Jesus used wine in the Lord’s supper to represent His blood. I don’t think this is any coincidence. I love how all the different verses come together throughout the Bible. This also shows it was His plan all along.
This verse also satisfied two different scripture prophesies about the Messiah. One out of Zechariah where it says “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” And there are several other prophesies that said His bones would not be broken, Psalm 34:19 reads, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken.”
Now there are many prophesies that have been fulfilled by Jesus’s death and resurrection, But these two in particular, that His bones were not broken and that His side was pierced, Jesus could not have orchestrated himself. It was the soldier’s decision not to break His bones and to pierce Jesus. The Soldier probably didn’t know anything about the Old Testament as he was a Roman.
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.
What a nice man was Joseph of Arimathea. Many Christians interpret his role as fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction that the grave of the “Suffering Servant” would be with a rich man (Isaiah 53:9), “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” Jesus was put to death with criminals, but He was laid to rest like a rich man would have been. I a private tomb in the garden.
We don’t know what ever happen to this Joseph, but Matthew 27:57 described him simply as a rich man and disciple of Jesus, and according to Mark 15:43 Joseph was “a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God”; and Luke 23:50 adds that he “had not consented to their decision and action” against Christ. But he was bold enough to confront Pilate about taking charge of the body of Christ after He died. Never known before in the Bible, however this shows that many people of all stature were positively influenced by Jesus Christ, and still are today.
39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
Nicodemus was a Jewish Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John. He first visits Jesus at night to discuss Jesus’ teachings (John 3:1). The second time Nicodemus is mentioned, he reminds the Sanhedrin that the law requires that a person be heard before being judged (John 7:50).Finally, Nicodemus appears in our verses today, after the Crucifixion of Jesus to provide the customary embalming spices, and assists Joseph of Arimathea in preparing the body of Jesus for burial. Honoring Him in death.
These were two most unusual characters. These were not like most of the other followers of Jesus. These were very influential characters in the Jewish Leadership. This goes to show it just wasn’t the poor and criminal element of the Jewish Nation that believed and followed Jesus. And don’t forget there was also Doctor Luke, and Matthew the Tax Collector as examples of the otherwise upper class of citizenry. Jesus presented Himself as a sin-offering for all people, young and old, rich or poor, all people are welcome to consider and accept the grace offered by Christ. Many Jews accepted Christ as the Messiah, but many did not.
Now myrrh was used in this passage for preparing Jesus’s body. As you might recall in the story of Jesus’s birth it was given as a gift. Remember the three kings brought Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Myrrh was commonly used for burial ceremonies as it was very pungent. It is appropriate for a burial, but how strange that they also gave it as a New Baby’s gift. Can you imagine attending that baby shower, getting Gold and burial oil. However, I believe and scripture contends, that when Jesus came to this earth as even a baby, it was for the purpose of dying on the cross for our sin. It was God’s plan all along that Jesus would be crucified. Thank You Lord. Our last verse today says:
41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Jesus was put in the tomb. Other scripture says that Joseph of Arimathea rolled the stone across the tomb’s opening, and Mary and Mary saw the Jesus being put to rest there. It is so sad that our Savior had to die like this. But take heart and know that it was necessary and it was God’s plan all along.
This is a poignant, heartfelt and somber message today but it is one that we have to hear. Jesus died on the cross for our sin and was laid to rest. That should change your life and tone of service going forward, just like it changed Joseph and Nicodemus in our History lesson here.
They took huge risks upon themselves to honor Jesus in the way that they did. No doubt it cost them greatly within the Jewish leadership for doing so. But what amazes me is how much they changed over the course of knowing Jesus. The first time we read about Nicodemus, he came to Jesus by night in fear that he would be found out by his peers. He was scared to stand up for Jesus before, but now Nicodemus is brave, and probably willing to be persecuted himself for doing what he did. Also notice that Joseph gave up his own tomb for Jesus. This tomb was in the center of the city, prime real estate, made for a rich man. And he did what he did that day not knowing that Jesus was ever going to rise from that tomb. People just don’t do things like that unless they really believe. And they did what they did for what they thought was for a dead Jesus.
Based on what they did, then the question I have for you is what would you be willing to do for a Jesus that we now know to be resurrected and alive, and knowing that He even died for you? Are you brave enough to stand for Him like they did?
In this last verse it mentions the garden. Every time I hear the word garden, I think of that song.. In the Garden.. “I come to the garden alone, where the due is still on the roses….” It also reminds me of the Garden of Eden. However this wasn’t the garden of Eden where the first Adam was created, this time it is Jesus, who is known to be the second Adam, and He isn’t born here, instead He dies in this garden, and is put to rest there.
Apostle Paul writes of this dynamic of the two Adams a little in 1 Corinthians 15: “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit.46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.”
Jesus was laid to rest in that tomb. The Apostles, Jesus’s family and friends, the Jews and the Romans that witnessed all that had transpired, all thought that Jesus was finished. But oh how wrong they were.
Remember with what I started with here today talking about how Jesus said Tetelestai, or “it is finished”, but again Jesus never said that He was finished, no no.. For really, He was just getting started. Praise the Lord.
Now there are many other things we can deliberate upon in this event. The other Gospels also mention that when Jesus died the sky grew dark, the earth shook and the dead even rose from the grave. The book of Matthew 27:50 says, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.”
I believe every word of the Bible is true. Some dead rose from their graves, and just like when Jesus rose His friend Lazarus from the grave, I am sure the Jewish nation was shocked. And the thick Temple curtain taring from the top to the bottom signified that God eliminated the barrier between us and Him forever more.
This was a huge event and it got a lot of attention for sure. All real events, that many had witnessed. Even this book of John was written while many of those witnesses were still around. The Romans shortly after this and rest of the world now mark their calendar date by Jesus’s “Year of our Lord” After Death incident. It was that significant. I invite you also to believe. There aren’t many things in this world that you can really believe in, but this event, and Jesus being the Son of God, God in the flesh is something you can take to the bank. Are you willing?
Order of Lord’s Supper – Intinction
First Congregational Church
This is a time of reflection about our spiritual condition and fellowship with each other, and more importantly that with Christ Jesus.
We observe Open Communion at First Congregational Church – As long as you have Accepted Jesus Christ as your savior and have been baptized then we welcome you to join us in this Communion Service..
Baptist Faith & Message: “The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.”
Luke 22:19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Luke 22:20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”
1 Cor 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
“As we participate today in this “The Lord’s Supper” I ask you to consider your position with Jesus Christ. Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sin? Have you forgiven one another and how are you honoring Him by loving your neighbor”