Jesus’s Death and Burial

Open Your Bible

Luke 23:44-49, Matthew 27:45-56, Luke 23:50-56

Few experiences are more revealing than suffering. Have you ever seen a friend’s character shine brightly in the face of an unthinkable loss, a heartbreaking betrayal, or a frightening diagnosis? Our moments of deepest grief show us who we are, and we can see it’s the same with Jesus. Though the end of His earthly life was marked by pain, betrayal, humiliation, and a violent, unjust death, here we see a man who died as He lived.

Jesus isn’t stoic in His darkest hours. There’s the cry of despair, echoing the psalms: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46). But there’s also a humble submission as He takes His last breath and entrusts His spirit into the Father’s hands. (Luke 23:46). Despite the rejection of the crowds and all the humiliation they could throw at Him, He faces death with a sense of completion. He has followed God faithfully to the end, and the story isn’t over.

Even creation mourns, as “darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed” (vv.44–45). We read of earthquakes and the temple curtain ripping like garments of grief. But in this darkness, He is not alone. The women who followed Him watched from a distance, bravely keeping vigil. Maybe they hope He really will come down from the cross. If not, they will care for His body, giving Him the dignity He was denied in death.

A Roman centurion watches too. Perhaps he’d heard stories and rumors about this teacher that angered the crowds in Jerusalem and the Roman government alike. Likely he was just there to do his job, to keep order and stand guard for these crucifixions. Does he recognize the injustice in this death? Or is it Jesus’s constant forgiveness and love that opens the soldier’s eyes to the truth: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (v.54).

In this darkest hour, it feels like all hope has died. Jesus—the one the disciples hoped would save Israel, the one who healed the sick and confounded the expert teachers, the one who faced violence and false accusations with clarity and purpose—is dead. Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man and member of the Sanhedrin, offers Jesus a proper burial in a borrowed tomb. The women who loved Him wait and rest on the Sabbath, with plans to care for Him in death as they did in life.

We know this is not the end, but we cannot rush past this part of the story. Jesus has shown us how to suffer well, and knowing He has experienced the darkest depths of pain can give us hope. He was not alone, and neither are we.

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48 thoughts on "Jesus’s Death and Burial"

  1. Portia Strange says:

    At this point, as the reader, we know that Jesus’ death & burial isn’t the end of His glorious story. Yet, his disciples were ‘none the wiser.’ From the perspective of His disciples, family, & friends, Jesus’ story isn’t quite ending how they thought it would. I can only imagine how heavy their hearts were as they walked from their respective homes to the market to purchase the spices & ointments. They were just violently & unexpectedly thrown into an ocean of grief, trying to decide what would be best for their Lord’s burial. And then having to walk from the market to the tomb, crying, emotionally spent, perhaps even comforting one another. Perhaps so lost in their grief, that they forgot to even consider who would roll away the stone for them. Perhaps they hoped the Roman guards would show the slightest compassion in removing it for them. Perhaps praying on the way that God would provide someone to do so.

  2. Bunny Lightsey says:

    “And the temple curtain ripping like garments of grief”. I had never thought of it like that. I do not believe I will ever forget it! It was as if God himself was showing His grief at what we had done to His Son. Powerful.

  3. Susan Lincks says:

    Very eye opening and shows me how I should live.

  4. Portia Strange says:

    I find it interesting that in Mark 14:32-42, the men were asleep when Jesus encourages them to pray in the Garden, yet the women are ‘bravely keeping vigil’ while Jesus hangs from the Cross. Vigil means a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, especially to keep watch or pray. They have been watching from afar. It’s hard to imagine what they might’ve felt & thought as they saw & heard all of what Jesus experienced.
    I love that Scripture doesn’t say that Jesus loved the women more than the men because of that or vice-versa. Jesus loved them both just the same. So much so that he died & was buried for them both. They all still needed salvation, despite their ability or inability to stay awake, watchful, & pray. Just like you & I.

  5. Lolly Regan says:

    Suffering well, he was the example of true hope

  6. Linda says:

    Tina: spot on as always.

  7. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  8. Kimberly Z says:

    It gives me great comfort knowing we are not alone! @TAYLOR I’m so glad to hear your small adult group went well! I thought of you today while I went to my own young adult group :). We make meals at the Salvation Army every so often. I dont know many people in the group so I always have to semi force myself to go :). I thought if Taylor can go to her group so can I haha. @SARAH D. Praying your eval went well! I always get nervous for those when I know if something was truly wrong they probably would have said something by now. @ALLISON BENTLEY love your comment on us not being alone. So simple but also so true. In a time where I feel like my struggles are things people don’t struggle with me I remember we are not alone.