Luke 23:50-56 has a somber tone. Jesus, now dead, was buried in a borrowed tomb. The Lord’s body was prepared with both respect and haste. Luke singled out two groups who participated in this grim act of love. First, a man named Joseph played a cameo role—his only appearance in the gospels. Second, the women who followed Jesus, ever-present and ever-faithful, observed the details and prepared to return to complete the task after the Sabbath had passed. We may well ask, what made the burial significant? Why did all four of the Gospel writers give attention to the details of Jesus’ burial? The answer to this question will be the focus of the sermon this Lord’s Day.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Psalm 30:4-5
Hymn 42 Praise Ye the Lord!
Note: Our service begins with an anthem of praise that strikes a tone in contrast with the theme of the sermon text. We know that the grave did not hold our Lord. “O let all that is in me adore Him!” We call to each other, “Praise Him in glad adoration.”
Worship through Giving
Congregational Response: Doxology
Scripture Reading Psalm 16:1-11
Note: This psalm declares David’s confidence that the Lord would take care of him. In verse 10, he looked beyond his own situation and prophesied that the Lord would not abandon his Holy One in the grave nor would let him see corruption. Both Peter and Paul declared that David spoke of Christ. Though he was placed in the grave, his Father would deliver him (see Acts 2:29-30; 13:25-37).
Hymn 267 There is a Fountain
Note: William Cowper was a friend and collaborator of John Newton. This is his most famous hymn. It vividly describes the power of Christ’s death to remove the sinner’s guilt. Charles Spurgeon was so moved by this hymn that he has a portion inscribed on his tombstone:
E’re since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die
Hymn 141 Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed
Note: Isaac Watt’s timeless hymn begins with the humbling thought that the Lord of all would choose to die for “such a worm as I.” We respond with an expression of unreserved commitment: “Here, Lord, I give myself away—‘Tis all that I can do.”
Message: Laid Him In a Tomb
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn: Psalm 23b: The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Note: The 23rd Psalm declares our confidence that the Lord will always care for us: “I shall not want.” His unfailing goodness guides us through death’s dark valley. He knows the way because he has been there.
Prayer Response: Jon Lont
Benediction: John Miles