The Best Burial Day


“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 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 because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”
John 19:38-42

To the mom who of a baby whose body you lovingly held, you fed, rocked, and kissed—and then lowered into the ground. To the mom of a baby whose body quickly slipped away, and with no pictures to save. To the mom of a baby whose body you cradled in your hands—so petite and you couldn’t keep. To the mom of a baby whose limp frame you cradled near—so few minutes of your life spent here.

Come to a burial—to the best one.

“Come and see an extraordinary funeral; never was the like! Come and see a burial that conquered the grave, and buried it, a burial that beautified the grave and softened … Let us turn aside now, and see this great sight.”
Matthew Henry

Come to the Savior’s side; crucified, pierced—not alive. Buried, carried to a tomb—lowered to the earth. See how His life was given away as a curse? See how His body went from hung to hurriedly prepared? Yet, see the way Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea cared? Now see that wrath was really paid—He was buried so that you might be raised. Death for sin, blood of sacrifice; He bled to take sin away.

Now see that death has a new-garden tomb—a new door, gate, and way. Find this life; in being buried with Him, you live. What kind of tomb is this? Come, the old garden was yesterday—and in Him, the old Adam’s away.

Find that in death you really live—dead to your sins, dead through Him. See the resurrection ahead? This death was different—though really dead, He would come to life. For the sinless One, the grave could not hold—unlimited purity and power in His sacrifice.

When you imagine His body in the grave, picture your children there too. Without despair, envision them as if they’re placed right by His side—placed in Him (and watch, they’re briskly made alive). What kind of tomb is His?

Death is steep, sharp, and sour. Yet, it’s softened there; don’t look away. This burial was the best of them all. See that death has promise now—to be with the Lord, found in His power. There is no sin or sorrow to exceed this tomb—no maximum limit for any wrongs, tears, or pain. See that it is a promise He has made—all who come through His grave will be raised (Rom. 6:10-11); in dying to sins and selves, we’re new.

There is no tomb like the one of Christ. Nicodemus came from hiding and the rich man, Joseph, (Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60) from the crucifiers (he didn’t agree—Lk. 23:51). See how this tomb also draws us: out from the patterns of life we’ve led—out to follow.

To the mom of a baby who slipped away, put your fingers at His sliced side, by His heart, and see His hands—scarred with death. There is no one who more understands than the One whose death we cannot fully comprehend. There is no death like His, for in His wounds—our eternity. He was the One despised, rejected, and without beauty—in these are no defeat. Lowered into the ground, yes—but now, what’s in the ground is not lost. Limp on a cross—but wait for His might. Though not recognized how He should have been on earth, resurrection ahead.

He was anointed to death—with a woman’s wealth, perfume was smoothed over Him with her hair (John 12:3). Mother, you were appointed to this grief—to display His power, His eternity. Draw just as near. Carry yourself to His burial. Sit to remember—don’t look away. This is where life’s beginnings and ends come together. Determine what you can set aside—ask what you need no more. What is keeping your heart from His power? Lay it in the tomb to die. With the new Adam, there is room for you. (Rise in Him!)

See the day death really died—death’s waiting to be cast away, it’s trembling. See the day wrath was really paid—Him crucified, leave your sins because He makes you free. In His living power, trust. Because He died, we who go through His tomb—alive. (Children and heavenly church waiting on the other side!)

Jesus—what tomb ushers life but Yours? Thank You for the best burial day.

This post was originally published at Hope Mommies.

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