Day 7 - Jesus in the Tomb // Holy Week

Day 7 // Jesus in the Tomb

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus—but secretly because of his fear of the Jews—asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took His body away. Nicodemus (who had previously come to Him at night) also came, bringing a mixture of about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes. Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the aromatic spices, according to the burial custom of the Jews. There was a garden in the place where He was crucified. A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it. They placed Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation and since the tomb was nearby.” – John 19:38-42

The seventh day of Holy Week is rarely thought of as an individual day but as part of the three days in completing God’s redemption plan: Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. To look at it as a separate day, we first look at the preparation day for the Sabbath — Jesus was crucified on the cross at Golgotha. The crowds had watched and listened to the final Words of Christ.  “It is finished.” His body died.

For the followers of Jesus, this was the beginning of their time of hopelessness and confusion. The disciples were hidden in fear that they too would be killed. These men, who had spent so much time with the Savior, were now on their own. We now understand why Jesus prayed for them in the Garden, that God would protect them from the evil one. Fear was crippling their faith and causing them to question all that they had been doing for the last three years.

The Chief Priest and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate, asking for soldiers to guard the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. They said, “We remember that while this deceiver was still alive He said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore give orders that the tomb be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, His disciples may come, steal Him, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’  Then the last deception will be worse than the first” (Matthew 27:62-64). The hate of the Chief Priests and Pharisees are the only words recorded from the Sabbath day after Jesus’ death.  

Holy Saturday is called a day of reflection on the death of Jesus. Hopelessness and confusion were found in the realization that those believers so long ago did not know if Jesus would rise again. Do you have times in your faith journey where you get encompassed in this kind of despair due to the unknown? Do you allow yourself to become imprisoned in the hopelessness of life? We have a choice to stay in this place or to be surrounded in the hope of Jesus' resurrection.

For others, this day is filled with the emptiness of disbelief in Jesus as the Savior of the world.  This despondency brings one to be filled with hate and despair. Often one tries to dull this emptiness with sin that only deepens one’s loss of hope.  

As you spend today reflecting on the death of Jesus and the time His body was in the tomb, don’t be encumbered by hopelessness, but hold tightly to the promise that Jesus said, “After three days, I will rise again” (Matthew 27:63).
Author: Barbara Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator