He Was Buried

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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He placed it in his own new tomb, which had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance and left.

Matthew 27:60

From the earliest times, Christians have affirmed that Jesus was buried. In one of the old pieces of Christian tradition available to us, we read: “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Later, the Apostles’ Creed affirms that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.” Why did the burial of Jesus matter so much that it was mentioned as a central feature of early Christian belief? Why does the burial of Jesus matter to us?

For the first Christians to say that Jesus was buried was a way of affirming that he had really died. On the cross, Jesus gave up his life. There was no question of his having somehow survived crucifixion. No, he was really dead and was really buried. The burial of Jesus, therefore, underscores the true miracle of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. He didn’t just suffer. He died, taking upon himself the just penalty for sin, your sin, my sin, and the sin of the world. He received the “wages of sin” (Rom 6:23).

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION: What difference does the death of Jesus make in your life?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, honestly, I’m apt to take your burial for granted. But when I consider what it proves—that you really died on the cross—then I’m struck by the blunt, simple, astounding fact that you were buried. You experienced the full reality of death. No life was left in your body. And you chose this out of mercy and love. What a wonder!

Thank you, dear Lord, for truly dying . . . even for me. Thank you for entering fully into human life so that you might deliver me from sin and death. As I reflect on your burial today, I offer thanks for your amazing sacrifice. Help me, Lord, to live today as someone who is fully and forever alive because of your death. Amen.