Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 11th April 2020: Sealed in the tomb

Pharisees Matthew 27 Mary Magdalene Pontius Pilate Crucifixion Resurrection Trust Disciples God Jesus

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 27

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciples of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day...the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive "After three days I will rise again." Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, "He has been raised from the dead"...Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers, go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

(from New Revised Standard Version)


After the drama of the Friday, with Jesus forced to carry his cross through the crowded streets of Jerusalem to the hill called Golgotha; his nailing to the cross between two bandits; the jeering of the soldiers and onlookers; the sadness of his mother and disciples; and his subsequent death, there comes a moment of complete stillness in the story of Good Friday.

All is over and Joseph of Arimathea comes to claim the body of Jesus. He places the body in his own tomb, and the huge stone is rolled in front of the grave, and the two Mary's are left on watch. Finally we are told that the chief priests and the Pharisees send soldiers to guard the tomb to ensure no-one can steal Jesus' body. All is quiet on the Jewish Sabbath, which runs from sunset on the Friday to sunset on the Saturday.

Today, many of us are struggling because we cannot be with loved ones when they are ill or on their death bed. Even funerals cannot be held as usual. But what we can be sure of is that God holds the souls of our loved ones safe, where they are free from all pain and suffering. The busyness of life is finished, and and we can only trust our loved ones to God's mercy.


Heavenly Father,
help us to trust that just as you rescued your Son,
you have redeemed all who have died in the
knowledge and love of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ,
and to know that you continue to hold each one of us secure
at this time.

Return to index