What Jesus Did! 'Final Goodbye?' — Mark 15:46

Monday, December 21, 2020

Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus' body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.
— Mark 15:46 NLT

Key Thought

I can only imagine what this experience must have meant to Joseph. Was it filled with regret for not having been more open about his allegiance to Jesus? Was it filled with deep sorrow for what he felt was lost? Was it filled with anger at seeing the body of Jesus in its abused, torn, and punctured condition? Was it a sense of finality that all had been lost and all hopes dashed with his death? As he placed Jesus in this fresh grave, did he hear a brief echo of a promised resurrection that stirred his hopes? As he walked away from the tomb, the stone set in its place at the entrance, did he give up hope altogether — in resentment of his cherished Jewish heritage that had brought about this moment and in disillusionment about his faith in Jesus who was now dead? We look at the crucifixion on this side of Jesus' triumphant resurrection. Even when we celebrate the Lord's Supper and remember the death of Jesus, we do so on this side of his triumph and we normally do so on Sunday, the day of his victory. It is only when one we love comes to the end of this life that we can begin to understand the weight of Joseph's pain and grief. But even then, we can be thankful that Joseph's painful task was done in preparation for the glorious Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead and changed everything.

Today's Prayer

Hallelujah, God Almighty. You have taken death and defeated it through the work of your Son and my Savior, Jesus. Thank you. I praise you in the name of my risen Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 11:17-26
  • Mark 16:1-7
  • 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

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Illustration

Illustration of Mark 15:46 NLT —  Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.