The Burial of Jesus

Joseph of Arimathaea

Matthew 27:57-61

Mark 15:42-16:1

Luke 23:50-56

John 19:38

  • a rich man
  • Jesus' disciple
  • wrapped= "rolled up"
  • clean linen cloth-"sindon"
  • his own new tomb
  • women watched
  • an honorable counselor
  • waited for the kingdom of heaven
  • bought fine linen- "sindon"
  • wrapped= "rolled up"
  • women watched
  • women came back another day to anoint the body for burial
  • a counselor
  • a good and just man
  • had not consented to the counsel or deed
  • waited for the kingdom of God
  • wrapped= "rolled up"
  • linen- "sindon"
  • women watched
  • women went to prepare spices and ointments
  • a disciple
  • hidden for fear of the Jews

Joseph of Arimathaea was a disciple convinced that Jesus would be raised from the dead. He was rich. He was a member of the council that ruled and tried Jesus. However, he did not consent to the counsel or deed and kept hidden to claim the body of Jesus. He boldly went into Pilate to beg the body of Jesus. In entering a Gentile court and in touching a dead body he defiled himself so that he was not able to eat the Passover. He had a new tomb hewed from rock near the crucifixion area. He bought some linen "sindon" and simply rolled up the body of Jesus and put it in the tomb. Sindon is not grave clothing. He did not anoint the body. The women who watched him from a distance went to prepare a proper burial and came back a few days later after the Passover and weekly sabbaths.

It is clear from the records that Joseph believed that Jesus would be raised in three days as he had taught. He boldly claimed the body and had prepared a place to put it. He did not prepare it for burial because he did not believe that Jesus was going to stay dead.


John 19:39-42 And there came also Nicodemus which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen [othonion] clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews; preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

The women and Nicodemus had noted that Joseph had not anointed Jesus for burial nor wound his body in anointed strips of grave clothing. Nicodemus came back with his own servants after Joseph and the women had left and prepared the body for burial. When Jesus was raised, the grave clothing [othonion] was found but the original sindon that Joseph used is not around. Although Nicodemus was also a follower of Jesus and risked defiling himself for the Passover by handling a dead body, he did not believe that Jesus would be raised in three days as did Joseph. The women who watched Joseph also came back on the first day of the week to anoint the body believing that Jesus was dead to stay and were surprised to find the body gone and Jesus raised from the dead.

Scripture Builds Up

Several passages of Scripture on an identical incident or subject may augment the information given in each other. It is especially important when studying records from the four gospels to recognize that each passage of Scripture relating to the same incident may not give the same details but the Scriptures must complement and agree with each other or we do not have the true Word of God. In studying the development of identical situations in various passages of Scripture, it becomes vitally important to observe The Word with a keen eye and perceptive mind to see the depth of it. If the situations are identical, that which is set forth in one Scripture cannot contradict that which is set forth in the other. However, Matthew may report certain details, Mark may add others, and Luke still others. Put together the details from each individual record supply us with the whole picture.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

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© Copyright March 1998 Michael Cortright