Luke 23:50-56: The Burial of Christ


The fact of Jesus death and burial
The significance of Jesus death and burial


‘I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.’ These words are from the Apostle’s Creed, one of earliest and most widely held Christian creeds. Part of what we confess we believe is not only that Jesus is our Lord, not only that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. We confess that He suffered, that He was crucified, that He died and was buried. All of these facts are central facts to the gospel, to deny any one of them is to undo the gospel. Paul says as much in 1 Cor. 15:3-4, ‘For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.’ We have been focusing on the crucifixion of Christ and witnessed His death. We come now to the burial of Christ. As with every other part of the truth of Christ’s work for us the fact of Christ’s death and burial are also disputed.

Two types of errors have arisen around these events, some are additions and some are denials. In the additions you will be familiar with the Deposition of Christ or the Descent from the Cross regularly featured in Christian Art. The nails of the crucifixion, what are now called the holy nails, became relics hunted down by the Emperor Constantine’s Mother, Helena. One of which she took and made into a helmet for her son so that his mind would be protected from the darts of the evil one. You all will have seen art pieces like Michelangelo’s Pieta where Mary is holding the dead body of her Son, this being one of the 7 sorrows of Mary. The Tourin Shroud is supposedly the linen shroud mentioned in v53. Then there are the denials. Liberals deny that Jesus was even laid in the tomb but that He was thrown into a common grave for criminals. Muslims teach that Judas died on the cross and not Jesus. Many atheists have supported the swoon theory; or that the women and disciples on Resurrection Sunday went to the wrong tomb and that is why they found it empty. Today as we look at the death and burial of Christ we will focus on the fact of His death and burial and the significance of His death and burial.