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Matthew 27:45-66

Talks for Growing Christians

Our Lord’s Death and Burial

Matthew 27:45-66

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Lesson Number 78

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Supernatural events were associated with the crucifixion of Christ.
  2. Significant evidence was associated with the burial of Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Use your money and position for the Lord.

Questions

  1. How do you harmonize the apparent conflict about the timing of our Lord’s crucifixion in the four gospels?
  2. Another apparent conflict in the gospels involves the inscription hung above the Lord’s head on the cross. How do we resolve this issue?
  3. What was significant about the veil of the temple being torn in two?
  4. Were the saints who came out of their graves (Matthew 27:52) resurrected or raised from the dead?
  5. Who was Joseph of Arimathea?

Answers

  1. Matthew, Mark, and Luke say darkness fell on the earth at the sixth hour. They were using the Jewish standard of time. Their sixth hour was around noon. John records the Lord standing before Pilate at the sixth hour, because he was using the Roman standard of time, which puts the sixth hour around 6 AM.
  2. The actual inscription probably read “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Each of the gospel writers selected to record a portion of this inscription. Luke adds that this inscription was in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, which might explain some variations as well.
  3. The veil was torn from top to bottom, showing that this was a supernatural event. This act has major spiritual implications as well. God was opening the way for all believers to enter the holy presence of God. See Hebrews 10:19-20.
  4. Commentators differ on this point. Some say they were resurrected, and these saints are not in glory in their resurrected bodies. Others say they were simply brought back from the dead like Lazarus, but they would die again. Most likely these saints, whose bodies had turned to dust, were truly resurrected and became part of the “first fruits” of the resurrection to come.
  5. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews. He and Nicodemus had become secret followers of the Lord Jesus.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Because of our sins, God the Father had to judge the Son. The Lord Jesus had to experience the wrath of God in order to pay for the penalty of our sins. It is too easy to study the death of the Lord without allowing it to touch our hearts. Take a moment to reflect on the horror of our Lord’s crucifixion and the wonderful implications it has for you.
  2. Review the details of our Lord’s burial. Remember that the tomb was sealed with a Roman seal to show if anyone had tampered with it. The tomb was also guarded by a Roman guard unit and possibly a Jewish guard unit as well. There is no question that the tomb was very secure. Discuss how these details refute a number of skeptical theories used to explain away the body of Christ. The theories include the “Stolen Body Theory” and the “Wrong Tomb Theory.”

Challenge

  1. Joseph of Arimathea used his money and position for the Lord. We all have, in varying degrees, been given money and position that we can use for the Lord. Do you have a special niche that would enable you to do something for the Lord that others could not? God has placed you where you are for a reason. Be available to be used by the Lord.

Key Verses

  • “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” Matthew 27:45
  • “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51
  • “So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.” Matthew 27:66

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