"And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and just:
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimethaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandments." (Luke 23:50-56)
Jesus had been crucified, and died on the cross of Calvary shortly after three o'clock in the afternoon. He had finished the work He had come to do, and the price for our salvation was paid in full!
The sabbath was coming! The Jewish sabbath began at sundown! There was no time to waste! The disciples had to move quickly to inter Jesus' mortal remains before the sun set!
A wealthy, and politically powerful disciple, name Joseph of Arimethaea, went to Pilate, and asked to have the body of Jesus. Pilate granted his request.
In crucifixions, if no one claimed the body, it was just thrown away, and many times, it was just left to rot on the crucifix! It was vitally important that Jesus' body be properly buried, so that we could have Easter!
Think about it. If His body was not kept, and properly interred, how would we have known that He had risen on Easter?
As the sun sank low, Jesus' faithful followers moved quickly, and prepared His body for burial.
1) They had to recover His body, taking it down from the cross.
2) Then, they had to wash His body. How dreadful this must have been! His body had been beaten, bruised, and torn by the Roman whip. His side was opened with a spear. His hands and feet mangled by the nails!
3) After washing, His body would be anointed with fragrances and oils.
4) They would carefully wrap His body in clean linen sheets.
5) Hurriedly, they placed His body in a tomb.
6) With the time now gone, they rolled a stone upon the opening of the cave, to protect Him from scavengers.
7) The faithful women that followed Jesus marked the spot that He was laid in. They planned to visit His tomb often, and to decorate it.
When the sun had set, sabbath had begun. No more work could be done. Everyone had to stop the busyness of life, and rest.
Our Savior's body rested, as well. God created this world in six days, then He rested. Jesus had made salvation possible for mankind, and rested on the sabbath day in a borrowed tomb.
But, wait for it. Easter is coming!
From my heart to your heart.