Lenten Devotion: Burial Arrangements

…This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus (Luke 23:52).

Read Luke 23:50-56

As Jesus was dying He entrusted His spirit into His Father’s hands. But what would become of His lifeless body? The faithful believers and women stood at a distance to see what the soldiers would do. But unknown to them, God the Father was already making arrangements. He had chosen a man, Joseph, to be Jesus’ earthly father, to find a shelter and a manger at His birth. Now He provides another Joseph to arrange for Jesus’ proper burial.

Luke describes Joseph as a prominent member of the Jewish high court; he had not consented to its decision to destroy Jesus. Joseph trusted God’s promise to send His Son, and he had secretly come to believe Jesus was that Messiah. Now he boldly secures Pilate’s permission to take charge of Jesus’ lifeless body.

He takes Jesus’ body down, wraps it in linen, and lays it in a tomb as yet untouched by death’s decay and corruption. Then Joseph rolls a large stone-a flat, circular, upright slab-down in a groove in front of the entrance to the tomb.

Since the Sabbath is beginning, only the women follow Joseph to the tomb. They carefully note its location; they see how Jesus’ body was laid in it. In the few minutes left before the Sabbath, the women will buy spices and myrrh in preparation for the work they will do when the Sabbath is over. Early Sunday morning they will return to anoint His body for a proper burial.

THE PRAYER: Almighty God, You raised up Joseph to care for Your Son’s dead body. Thank You that You take note of all my needs-especially my need for forgiveness through Jesus my Savior. Amen.

*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.

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