Dead and Buried

David Bast

READ : John 19:31-42

. . . since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. (v. 42 ESV)

After Jesus died, he was buried. It’s the last item of business to be checked off for every human being.

Corpses must be disposed of. What makes death so repulsive is not just the fear or the pain; it’s the indignity of the thing. This is why Jesus’ burial is so comforting. It means he went all the way through the experience of death for us, to the bitter end. He even became a corpse that had to be prepared and then carried away and buried like every other dead body. His identification with our mortality is complete. “He knows our frame, he remembers that we are dust,” affirms the psalmist. And we may be sure of it, because he once was dust himself. If Jesus could do that much for me, I know that he will be with me when I too am one day a corpse.

The prayer of committal in the Reformed Church’s funeral liturgy says that “by his rest in the tomb, Christ has sanctified the graves of his saints.” No matter how dark the place, our Lord has been there before us. So death is not the end for us. Even burial isn’t the end.

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for all you have done for me. Be near me now and in the hour of my death.