There are many of the prophecies of the Messiah which are so difficult and complex that it would be impossible for any one person to fulfill. How would a convicted and destitute criminal arrange to have a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, give him his own costly tomb to be buried? Seven hundred years before Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb, Isaiah the Prophet describes the Messiah as He is buried in the tomb of a rich man.
Isaiah 53:9a And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Matthew records Joseph of Arimathea as the rich man described by Isaiah and Nicodemus, also from the Sanhedrin, who came with 100 pounds of costly spices to anoint Jesus body.
Matthew 27:57-60 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
John 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
At first glance, many people would wonder why being buried in a rich man’s grave was important to the Messiah’s story. The fact that Jesus was so poor and without any assets of His own, being buried in the tomb of a rich man would be notable and cause for attention. This appears to be one of the reasons that the Lord chose this prophecy to be fulfilled by the Messiah. (more…)