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have risen. The burial of the Lord Jesus is   Joseph of Arimathaea. Although Mark and
        proof of His actual death and subsequent   Luke note that Joseph was a ruler and that
        resurrection. He alone was buried in the   he was righteous, Matthew points out that
        tomb, and He alone burst forth from it   he was rich (27:57), drawing attention to
        in glorious life on the third day. As Paul   Isaiah’s words. As if right on cue, Joseph,
        says, this is gospel truth: “I declare unto   a man of sufficient means to have pur-
        you the gospel … how that Christ died for   chased a new rock-hewn tomb,  came to
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        our sins according to the scriptures; and   take the body of Jesus. Although the Jews’
        that he was buried, and that he rose again   intention would’ve been to bury Christ
        the third day according to the scriptures”   where condemned criminals were buried,
        (1Co 15:1-4).                         Joseph’s arrival kept that from happening
        Prophecy                              and fulfilled Isaiah’s ancient prophecy.
          John mentions two specific prophecies   We must also consider the Lord Jesus’
        that were fulfilled immediately following   own prophecy in Matthew 12:40, which
        Christ’s death (see Joh 19:36-37). The fact   has given rise to different views about
        that the soldiers didn’t break His legs   which day He died. The Savior indicated
        fulfilled Psalm 34:20: “He keepeth all his   He would be “three days and three nights
        bones: not one of them is broken.” The   in the heart of the earth.” On more than
        piercing of His side fulfilled Zechariah   one occasion Christ told His disciples He
        12:10: “They shall look upon me whom   would die and that He would rise again,
        they have pierced.”                   but here He clearly indicates He would be
          But in relation to Christ’s burial, an-  buried “in the heart of the earth.” Some
        other Scripture found fulfillment. Isaiah   infer from this Scripture that Christ may
        says, “They intended to bury him with   have been crucified on a Thursday (or
        criminals” (53:9 NET). Remarkably, Isaiah   even a Wednesday) since “three nights”
        foretold that Christ would die a criminal’s   are mentioned. If He died on a Friday,
        death,  which is exactly what death by   there would only be two nights in which
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        crucifixion was. Note the word “bury.”   the Savior was in the tomb. However,
        The Romans left the bodies of crucifixion   it may be preferable to view the words
        victims to the vultures, which served as a   “three days and three nights” as a Jew-
        harsh public warning, but the Jews prac-  ish colloquial expression for any part of
        ticed burial even for such criminals. They   a day. Thus, “it is probably a mistake to
        didn’t allow the bodies of the condemned   read this [Mat 12:40] as giving precision
        to be placed in tombs with other corpses   beyond what is rhetorically intended.”
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        (which would desecrate them), but had a   Note that the Jewish authorities quoted
        separate burial site for them just outside   the Lord as saying, “After three days I will
        the city.  However, such a site wouldn’t   rise again” (Mat 27:63). Did they believe
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        be needed for the Lord Jesus, for the next   that He was claiming He would therefore
        part of Isaiah’s prophecy mentions “a rich   rise again on the fourth day? No. They
        man in [Christ’s] death” (v9 ESV). Enter
                                              ⁴ Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel
        ² See also Isaiah 53:12 – “He was numbered with   of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: William B.
        the transgressors …”                  Eerdmans, 1999), 694 [footnote 271].
        ³ Andreas J. Köstenberger, John: Baker Exegetical   ⁵ Darrell L. Bock, Luke: Baker Exegetical
        Commentary on the New Testament (Grand   Commentary on the New Testament (Grand
        Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 554.  Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1996), 2:1894.
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