Jesus Died and Was Buried

Jesus' life and death shook the world literally, spiritually, and eternally. Join us as we turn to the Gospel of Luke and explore Jesus’ final days that led to the cross. As you discover the truth of the real Jesus, you'll find the source of your own story's significance.

The Impact of Jesus' Death

His death impacted the world

Jesus was nailed to a Roman cross at 9 a.m. He slowly suffered from noon to three o’clock, usually the brightest time of the day. Just the opposite happened. Darkness replaced light. How can you explain that?

We could be scientific and talk about solar eclipses because a solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and therefore blocks our view of the sun. Of course, the problem is that Jesus was crucified at Passover, and on the Jewish calendar, Passover is always tied to a full moon. You can't have a solar eclipse and a full moon together. That's actually not an explanation scientifically. 

Let's try to be poetic. Maybe we should say that the sun went dark because it could no longer stand to see the Son of God, the creator of the Sun crucified. And again, that's kind of warm and thoughtful. But the truth is, as you and I both know, the sun is all energy, not personal. It has no eyes to be averted because of the evil it sees.

Maybe we should be theological. Theology means God-talk. I believe that day revealed the judgment of God on sin. Executing the only good man who ever lived was so shameful for the human race that God actually blocked out the sun for 3 hours. You know, in the Bible, light always means God's favor. Darkness always means God's judgment or wrath.

His death impacted the temple

Luke says that Jesus' death impacted the cosmos, but he quickly goes beyond that to say Jesus' death impacted our access to God. As Jesus was dying, the curtain in the temple was torn down the middle. That means it was passive. No human did it. Mark says it was torn from top to bottom, not from bottom to top. Now, you add those two facts together and you quickly realize that God did this. The invisible hands of the invisible God who is always spirit, reach down somehow in ways that are completely mysterious and powerful and grab the top of that, and just ripped it all the way down. He rent the veil. It was God who destroyed the barrier between us and Him. It was God who exposed the holy of Holies to anyone and therefore exposed God to anyone who wanted to come to him at any time.

It's hard to understand exactly how big that curtain was before you comprehend what it means ‘it was torn in half.’ It was 60 feet high, and about 30 feet wide. That's a six-story building.

His Death Impacted the Crowd

When the Roman officer, that's the centurion overseeing the execution, saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, ‘Surely this man was innocent.’ When all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow. So two people, one an officer, second, a group of people, a crowd. Those entities came to the cross with one mindset and left the cross with a different mindset.

The Roman centurion was in charge of crucifixions. Talk about a miserable job. All you did every day was wake up and know that you had to supervise 100 men who had to supervise the vicious, violent, state-sanctioned murders of criminals. That was your job every day. This guy's heart should have been so hardened that it could never be repaired. Yet this verse tells us he saw what happened. And his heart softened and he turned to Jesus God and praised him.

A pagan Roman centurion praising God. And then he said, this guy had to be innocent.

His Death Impacted His Friends

A rich member of the Jewish Council, Joseph of Arimathea, requested to take Jesus’ body after his death. He owned a burial tomb and he wanted to give his friend a proper and honorable burial. It took Jesus' crucifixion for Joseph to finally stand up for Jesus as a true disciple and friend. Prior to Jesus’ death, Joseph was a ‘closet Christian.’ He was a member of the Sanhedrin, who were the ones who called for Jesus’ death. He didn’t publicly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah.

Do you struggle to identify yourself as Jesus' friend? To be honest, I do. If you struggle in any way to identify with Jesus as your very best friend, just look at him on the cross, and his love for you will evoke love toward him. His friendship for you will call forth a desire to identify with him as your friend, just like Joseph.

Next Steps

There's never a time when God is not waiting for you and has made access for you and has made himself available to you. Never a time when God blocks you from his presence. So I want to ask you a personal question today. Is there something in your life that you think is keeping you from turning to God? Is there something that's keeping you from praying? Which is something that's keeping you from talking to the Lord. Are you afraid that you can't appear before him because of sin or your own sense of insignificance? Have you forgotten what Jesus did for you on the cross? The temple veil separating humans from God has now been torn so that all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, who follow Jesus can come straight into his presence. You can go straight to him today. On his side, he's done all that's necessary. For you to walk straight up to him. On your side. All you have to do is take advantage of that offer.