Today's Bible reading: Matthew 27:57-28:15
The Burial of Jesus
57As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea,
named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
58Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body,
and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.
59Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.
He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
The Guard at the Tomb
62The next day, the one after Preparation Day,
the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
63“Sir,” they said,
“we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day.
Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead.
This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65“Take a guard,” Pilate answered.
“Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
66So they went and made the tomb secure
by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Jesus Has Risen
28:1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2There was a violent earthquake,
for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and,
going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
3His appearance was like lightning,
and his clothes were white as snow.
4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women,
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus,
who was crucified.
6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
7Then go quickly and tell his disciples:
‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.
There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8So the women hurried away from the tomb,
afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said.
They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The Guards’ Report
11While the women were on their way,
some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.
12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan,
they gave the soldiers a large sum of money,
13telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’
14If this report gets to the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.