Jesus' Death, Burial, and Resurrection

The most important series of events in the history of the world was the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus. By means of His death, Jesus fulfilled prophecy and bought man’s freedom from slavery to sin. By means of His burial, Jesus removed any doubt that He had really died. By means of His resurrection, Jesus proved He had power over death. This assures us that if we truly trust and obey Jesus, He will one day raise us from the dead also. In fact the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest proof that He is indeed “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16-18; Romans 1:4). The death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord are the very foundation of the Gospel by which we are saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Luke tells us that when Pilate was unable to silence the crowd’s cry that Jesus be crucified, he “gave sentence that what they asked for should be done” (Luke 23:24). Jesus was led out of the city to be crucified (Hebrews 13:12).

He needed help to bear the heavy cross. Simon, a Cyrenian, was forced to help Him.

A great crowd followed Jesus to the place where He was crucified. Among them were the Jewish leaders who had demanded His death. Luke mentions the women who followed Jesus. They were the last to leave the cross and the first to come to His grave on the morning of His resurrection. His disciples also followed, but from a distance.

Jesus was taken to a hill called Golgotha, the “place of the skull.” Here the Son of God was nailed to a cross. On either side of Him were crucified thieves. This fulfilled the prophecy Isaiah had made 700 years before, “and he was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12, KJV). Not content with having brought about His crucifixion, the leaders of the Jews mocked Jesus. The Roman soldiers also mocked Him as did the thieves who were crucified with Him. However, one of them repented. He knew Jesus was innocent. He asked the Lord to remember him when He came in His kingdom. Jesus replied, “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).

Darkness came over all the land for three hours when Jesus died. An earthquake occurred. The great veil in the temple which separated the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two. Saints who were dead arose from their graves and walked about the city (Matthew 27:51-53).

Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea, asked permission from Pilate to bury the body of Jesus in his own new tomb where no body had ever lain before. This fulfilled another prophecy of Isaiah, “And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death” (Isaiah 53:9).

Jesus was buried on Friday before the Jewish sabbath began at sunset (Luke 23:54). His body remained in the grave throughout Saturday.

On Sunday morning, the first day of the week, He arose from the dead! This fulfilled Jesus’ own prophecies that he would be in the grave for three days (Matthew 12:40; 16:21; John 2:19). When the faithful women came with spices to anoint the body of Jesus, they found the tomb empty. Angels announced to them the wonderful news that Jesus had arisen from the dead. They took the good news to the apostles (Luke 24:10). Peter ran to the tomb and saw for himself that the Lord had indeed risen from the dead.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news because it provides forgiveness of sins, restores fellowship with God, gives hope in death, and the promise of eternal life. In order for one to receive these blessings, he must die to sin and arise to walk in newness of life. This is done when one obeys the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-5; 16-18).

Dear friend, have you obeyed the Gospel? If you have not, you are lost in your sins. Why not obey the Gospel today so that you can have everlasting life?