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Friday, October 25, 2019

2019.10.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ John 19:38-20:9

Questions from the Scripture text: What was Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38)? Why was this a secret? What did he ask and receive from Pilate? Who else came in John 19:39? What did he bring? What did they do with Jesus’s body in John 19:40? Where was the garden in John 19:41? What was in it? Why did they lay Jesus there (John 19:42)? What day is it in John 20:1? Who goes to the tomb? When? What does she see there? Whom does she run to in John 20:2? What does she tell them? Where do they go in John 20:3? In what manner do they go (John 20:4)? Who gets there first? What does John see when he looks in, in John 20:5? What doesn’t he do? What does Peter do in John 20:6? What does he notice in John 20:7? What response does John have when he goes in and sees this too (John 20:8)? What had they not yet understood (John 20:9)? 
In John 19:38-42, we see the Holy Spirit emphasizing the historical truthfulness of Christ’s burial. This was important, because Jesus had prophesied that the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (cf. Matthew 12:40). Returning to the earth was part of Christ’s humiliation, as part of the penalty for Adam’s sin (cf. Genesis 3:19).

Even in facilitating Christ’s burial, we see the Lord using all sorts of imperfect people. Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the council (cf. Luke 23:30), and Niocdemus was a Pharisee on that council (cf. John 7:50), but they lacked courage—Joseph feared the Jews and it was by night that Nicodemus had come to Him in chapter 3. Mary Magdalene was about as low as you could get in society, the very opposite of those two men. Peter was slower (John 20:4), but John lacked boldness (John 20:5) and faith at first (John 20:8). They both had lacked understanding of the Scriptures (John 20:9) about the resurrection.

Here, as everywhere, Christ Himself is ultimately the only Hero. He had justified His people (cf. Romans 4:25). When the humiliated Christ of the grave became the exalted Christ of the resurrection, God made public display that His payment for sin had been accepted in full. He had been demonstrated to be the Son of God with power (cf. Romans 1:4). Just as Jesus had dismissed His Spirit by His own authority (cf. John 10:18), so by that authority as the Son of God, He had taken His life up again. He was being revealed as the One by Whom God would judge the world (cf. Acts 17:31). The great question for each descendant of the original Adam is whether we have responded to these resurrection-displayed facts about Jesus Christ!
What difference does it make to you that Christ’s payment has been accepted in full?
Suggested songs: ARP130 “Lord, from the Depths” or TPH22A “Sing, Choirs of New Jerusalem”

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