11/19/20 A New Tomb

READING: Daniel 7-9, Psalm 91, John 19

“A new tomb was in the garden; no one had yet been placed in it.” So writes John in today’s reading about the death and burial of Jesus (John 19:41). The Gospel of Matthew 27:60 tells us the tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, and Matthew informs us, like John, that the tomb was new. Luke 23:53 echoes the point that no one had yet been buried there. It was as if the tomb were simply waiting for Jesus not far from the place of His crucifixion. 

This chapter of John’s Gospel thus ends with what appears to be the end of the story: “they placed Jesus there [in the tomb]” (John 19:42).  The religious leaders had won. The crowds had been pleased. The matter had been settled—and the demons surely rejoiced. The rabbi who had stirred up the crowds was now out of the picture. All in all, this chapter is about tragedy. 

I thank God today, though, that John’s Gospel includes two more chapters! We turn the page to chapter 20, and we’ll learn that Jesus just borrowed this tomb for a few days. Someone had now been buried there; He just didn’t stay.  

PRAYER: “I am humbled, God, that You died in my place. I praise You that the story didn’t end with the tomb.”   

TOMORROW’S READING: Daniel 10-12, John 20