“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. Matthew 27:65-66
As the Scripture clearly outlines, on Good Friday, Jesus suffered and died on the cruel cross. It was Passover, and Jesus was the Passover Lamb. On the same day, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to the decision and action to have Jesus crucified this Joseph, went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Then he took Jesus’ body from the cross and lovingly wrapped it in spices and linen and laid Jesus in a tomb cut in stone. Nicodemus was with Joseph. This was Good Friday. (Matthew 27:57-61)
The women who followed Jesus to watch from a distance as Jesus lay dying on the cross, these women now followed Joseph. They saw the tomb and how His body was laid in it. They went home and prepared spices. They could not continue caring for Jesus’ body as it was now Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath Day. The tomb sealed and secure was home to the body of Jesus, for now.
Our LORD, Jesus, had suffered hell and agony on the Cross of Golgotha. He suffered intensely, a most torturous death, on a cross meant for criminals, while the Romans and Jews looked on and applauded. Yet we are guilty also, since it was our sin that held Him there. The wrath of God that was meant for us was upon the shoulders of the Paschal Lamb. The blood on the doorposts now shed on the cross.
On what we know as Holy Saturday, the physical body of Jesus lay in the grave. Yet the Spirit of Jesus is with God in heaven. Jesus told the thief on the cross, today you will be with me in Paradise. (see Luke 23:43)
They had placed the body of Jesus in a new tomb. This tomb was in a garden near Golgotha. (John 19:41). Joseph and Nicodemus honourably laid the physical body of Jesus in a tomb in a garden to rest. That is a comforting thought.
Nicodemus was a Christian, but he feared the Jews, so he acted in secret. This is also somewhat comforting. Individuals sometimes portray Christians as having no fear. But we are human and as Nicodemus did, we also feel fear. Jesus felt anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing he would die a cruel death. He was fully God and fully man all at once. Yet He committed to doing God’s will as we must do as well, by God’s grace alone.
On Saturday, of Holy Week, the chief priests who had schemed to have Jesus die on the cross also schemed to have His tomb sealed with a large boulder. They must have known that something far from usual was about to occur, yet they refused to believe in Jesus as their Savior, Redeemer, and LORD.
And they watched and waited, and all was silent.