Many years I have heard sermons, Bible lessons, and teachings on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it seems the Bible deals with the death, burial and resurrection; and usually in concert with one another.
Maybe I am off track on this, but I have had this on my heart and mind quite often in the past year or two; so today I write dealing with the subject of “The Burial of Christ”. The burial of Christ proves that He was dead; not swooning or faking death. I do believe the Roman guards knew death when they saw it. Thus, He was buried.
Now reading in 1 Corinthians we read…
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)
When we read the accounts of the Gospels we read of His burial, not just His death and resurrection. So why is it so important to remember His burial as part of the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
It is in its very meaning a necessity of our salvation, our living now, and for eternity.
Here is one place I get my meaning for the need of the burial. In the book of Leviticus and chapter sixteen is the ceremony on the day of Atonement, and the lesson of the scapegoat. One goat is taken, the hands of the priest is laid on the goat representing the sins of the people placed on it, then that goat is slain, and its blood is taken and poured on the mercy seat in the tent of meeting. We must understand that all of Scripture points to Jesus, and that all is saying that there is one way to God, and that is through the blood of His Son Jesus the Christ.
Just for note: I will not cover every detail of the scapegoat ceremony, but the scapegoat is the one which lives; chosen by lot; and then taken, and released in the wilderness, and some believe maybe slain in the desert; never to return again.
Let us for a moment think on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ like this; 1. The death of Christ is our past; 2. the burial of Christ is our present; and 3. the resurrection of Christ is our future.
Those who believe in Him are saved from sin, and its eternal torment. That leads us to the “burial of Christ” and the present. When Jesus died and was buried He carried all our sins, shames, condemnations, guilt, and death on the cross, and to the grave. He carried them away; like the scapegoat -into the wilderness; never to be seen again.
He left all that baggage of sin, shame, condemnation, guilt and death in the grave. He came out alive.
Knowing that He carried all of that away, and left it there should cause us; the Christian; to live without that baggage in our lives – once we have asked for His cleansing and forgiveness.
Because He was buried and risen we need not live in fear of His appearing, but with joy we do look for Him.