The burial of Jesus - Part IV
Christ foretold His death and declared that He would arise again the third day. Emergence from that grave paves the way for our hope of being resurrected one day – 1 Cor. 15: 20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

As people travel about the world a common feature on many tours is a great leader’s burial place. Visit Mt. Vernon, the home of President Washington, and you can visit his tomb. Go to Arlington Cemetery and you can visit the burial site of President Kennedy. In Saudi Arabia you can visit the tomb of Mohammed. The Buddha, curiously enough, is buried in 8 different places, his body was divided up among the contenders to be his burial spot. Peter said of King David, “I may say to you confidently of the Patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day” (Acts 2:29).
If you visit Jerusalem you can go to at least two separate tombs of Jesus. The reason it is hard to determine his exact tomb is simple. Neither tomb had a body in it. We cannot say where Jesus was buried because he did not stay there. For us, this is good news. Had Jesus stayed in the tomb, we would have no hope for our own resurrection. David stayed in his tomb, but being a prophet, he predicted that Jesus would not! (Psa. 16:8-10; Acts 2:30-31)
Paul simply put it this way, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). The resurrection is the confirmation of everything Jesus claimed for himself. On the cross he paid the penalty for our sins, but the assurance of that transaction is the resurrection. We might say of any dead person “He died for our sins.” But how can we know it is true? It is only in the risen Lord that we have assurance that he indeed has power over sin and death. It is important to our whole faith, to our very standing before God that Jesus is risen.
Paul tells us of the many people who saw Jesus after his resurrection. He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the women with her (Matthew 28:9; Mark 16:9) Cleopas and a travel companion on the road to Emmaus. Then He appeared to Peter, and to the twelve. At one time he appeared to a group of over 500 disciples. He appeared to his brother James and to other apostles. He also appeared to Paul himself. When Paul says, “Christ is risen,” he is speaking not of something he was told by another. He is giving eyewitness testimony.
The good news is, “Christ has won the victory over sin and death.” Even as we come to face our own deaths, we need not fear for Christ has gone before us. This is the good news. Christ is Risen! And he is not unique in his resurrection. As he is risen so also shall we be raised from the dead. As he lives, so we shall live forever with him. “Even death’s cold wave I need not fear, since God through Jordan leadeth me.” Out of the backdrop of that burial scene in Jerusalem, we have certification that Jesus is risen. In this he kept his word. He is trustworthy. When he promises eternal life to all who believe, we can trust that promise. When he promises forgiveness of sin through his death on the cross, we can trust that promise. We say, “Where he leads me, I will follow” because he leads us into life.

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