“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 there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.” John 19:41–42
After Jesus’ death two men who were secretly disciples of Jesus came forward to provide for Jesus’ burial.
Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate and requested that he be allowed to take the body of Jesus. He had a new tomb, one in which no body had ever been laid, in a garden very near the place of execution which he offered as a burial place.
Nicodemus, the man who earlier in Jesus’ ministry had come to visit Jesus in the night, also came forward and provided about a hundred pounds of spices and linen burial wrappings.
Together these two men provided for the Savior’s needs in his death. Some think it strange that they broke their silence regarding their fondness for Jesus after his is death when they had held it so long during his life. But sometimes it’s a need in others that brings us out into the open, and so it must have been with these two men. No one else was prepared to provide for Jesus burial and they could. The love they had seen demonstrated so many times in the life of Jesus now bore fruit in the hearts and lives of these two secret disciples.
But they had to hurry. The sun was about to set; the sabbath was about to begin. Fortunately the tomb was close by and all else was in readiness.
How strange that today people point to the death of Christ as evidence for the removal of the requirement of keeping the Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were always faithful in carefully keeping the Sabbath, even after Jesus’ death. Nowhere does scripture record Jesus teaching his disciples that the Sabbath, or any of God’s other commandments, would be done away with. And the disciples actions also give no indication that any of God’s moral law had been changed.
Christ came and died so that we, the breakers of God’s perfect and eternal law of love, might be forgiven. It’s the power of sin, and guilt, and condemnation that needed to be broken and Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished that for us. Now the Holy Spirit is given to us so that the power of Christ’s righteousness might live within us making the righteousness of Christ perfect in us.
Friends, the apostle Paul said it first but it bares repeating, now that Christ’s death has set us free from the power of sin in our lives should we take that as an excuse to continue in sin? God forbid! We’ve been set free to live righteously. There’s no good reason for us to continue to live as sinners. Let’s take hold of the power of righteousness provided in the gift of the Holy Spirit and truly enter into the Sabbath to keep it, and with it all Christ’s other commands as well.