“And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.” Matthew 27:66 (NIV)
We have been considering how Jesus approached His death on the cross and how He died. Now, let us consider what happened after He died and after He was buried by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus in a new tomb. Because the Sabbath began at sunset His burial needed to be done quickly on the same evening (Friday) that Jesus died. What happened on Saturday? We are told that some of the women who had followed Jesus watched the burial that Friday evening, spent time preparing spices and perfumes to anoint His body (Luke 23:25-26). But because Saturday was the Sabbath, the women decided to wait one more day and rested on Saturday. The interesting thing is that although the friends and disciples of Jesus were inactive on Saturday, some of his enemies were not. Matthew 27:62–65 records how the enemies of Jesus remembered what he had said about rising again. They went on Saturday to request a special guard at the tomb where Jesus was buried. Today’s verse describes what resulted from their request. Jesus had promised to rise again and nothing that his enemies did would stop what God would be doing on Sunday morning.