Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin. Jesus’ body laid in a tomb which was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday. Nicodemus treated Christ’s body for burial. John 19:39-40 “He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”
Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court that had condemned Jesus Christ to death. Both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community. They both came out boldly, risking their reputations and their lives because they had come to realize that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus’ body and prepared it for burial.
Matthew 27:62-66 “The next day, the one after Preparation Day the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again’. So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “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.”
Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation. 1 Peter 1:18-19 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
Lord God, On the Sabbath, Jesus rested. He was in the grave. He had finished his work. To most people’s eyes, it looked as if it were over. He was dead and buried. But only has a seed dies when it is planted in the earth, not to decay, but to spring to new life. Teach us to take refuge in you when we are afraid. Teach us that death is not our end. Teach us to hope always in you and in the resurrection, the making of all things new. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. (R. Stone)