April 30, 2011

The Body of Him

Many things strike me as I learn more of the Gospel of John and wrap up 16 weeks of reading about it and studying it for a second time this year. I had studied it for a personal Bible study before my class also. The first...

"At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid." John 20:41
In John’s story of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus he states that Jesus is laid in a tomb in a garden. He is the only on to do so. So I suppose it is not ironic that Jesus is resurrected in that Garden so to overturn the curse in Adam (and Eve) who sin is initiated with and subsequently imputed to us. Thereby they are kicked out of...a garden.

The second... When John speaks of the body of Jesus he does so with reverence. John is distinct and careful not to mention the body of Christ as an “it” or anything less than a body with a personal pronoun attached to it in the Greek. It is always referred to as the “body of Jesus”.

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body [of Him- σωμα αυτου in Greek which refers to the antecedent] away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds] Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:38-42
I am not sure if there is a deliberate reason John states verse 42 the way he does but it is stated in such a way that…if you didn’t know Jesus had been crucified and killed, it could be inferred as if Jesus was there in person. It is interesting and clever usage of words. It is as if John is saying they are actually placing the person of Christ in the grave even though at the time it is only the body. This is an immense and deliberate amount of reverence for a body from which the Spirit had departed. Knowing that John writes this in hindsight reinforces his whole stated thesis…”so that you may believe”. John knows that this body will, in three days be transformed into the Resurrection body of Christ. Wow!

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