May 15, 2022

Dead and Buried

John 19:38-42

Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

—  John 19:42

Maybe you have heard the expression “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” And although some people may cheat on their taxes, no one can ultimately cheat death. We are all mortal, so eventually we will all die.

As we would expect after the statement about Jesus’ being crucified, the Apostles’ Creed says that Jesus “died, and was buried.” Jesus’ lifeless, cold corpse was laid to rest in a grave, just as our bodies too will one day die and be buried.

We don’t like to talk about death. But every time a dear family member or a friend dies, we are forced to remember our own eventual, inevitable death. In a letter to the early church, the apostle Paul fittingly calls death the “ene­my” (1 Corinthians 15:26).

No words can completely salve the fear and dread we have of death. But we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus himself died. He was like us in every way, the Bible teaches (see Hebrews 2:17; 4:15). He ate breakfast, enjoyed beautiful days, got tired and needed sleep, and sometimes stubbed his toes. He also died and was buried.

We can also take comfort in knowing that our Savior, who died for us and also rose again, is with us as we grieve the loss of loved ones and face our own, inevitable death.

Jesus, you suffered and died on the cross for us. As we face up to the reality that we too will die someday, we take comfort in knowing that you are with us always. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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