The Burial of Jesus – Matthew 27:57-66 – Holy Saturday Message and Meaning

1. Introductory prayer

I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words or with those that are here. I want to feel for the Holy Saturday message and meaning.

My Lord and my God, you have died for me and for everyone. Pour on me the Holy Spirit, your forgiving and giving Love that I will be able to accept and allow it to permeate my thoughts as well, The feelings and emotions that I cultivate towards everyone I cannot forgive, to accept them, to only wish them well. Convert in me every resistance, hostility to myself and to others, so that I will approach everyone in your way.

2. Reading – Listening: The Burial of Jesus – Matthew 27:57-66 – Holy Saturday Meaning and Message

The Burial of Jesus

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and 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. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The 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.’ 64 So 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.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The Burial of Jesus - Matthew 27:57-66 - Holy Saturday Meaning and Message

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel – The Burial of Jesus – Matthew 27:57-66 – Holy Saturday Meaning and Message

Jesus not only died for our sins (1 Cor. 15: 3), but still, by the grace of God, he tasted death for each of us (Heb. 2: 9). True death completed his earthly human existence. Jesus died in the middle of the afternoon, Saturday began at 6 pm. Because Jewish law did not allow work on the Sabbath, the corpses had to buried. Joseph of Arimathea, brave enough to obtain the permission of the Roman authorities, took the body of Christ and buried Him. The bodies of the executed criminals were usually left unburied that they were for the hawks and the dogs.

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Luke narrates that Joseph was a member of the supreme Jewish council that condemned Jesus. He states that he did not agree with their verdict. Luke tells us that he was “good and righteous” and “sought the kingdom of God.” Although he did not advocate Jesus at trial, he nevertheless sought to honor him after his death by buried Jesus, the way the dead were usually buried then. This is to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah said: “For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. ”(Isaiah 53: 8-9)

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.. ”(Revelation 1: 17-18). No grave in the world could long to “keep” the Lord Jesus. His death on the cross gained us our salvation. With divine power he rose from the dead. “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful[a] one see decay. “(Ps 16: 9-10)

The mystery of Christ in the tomb on the Sabbath is revealed, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Col. 1: 18-20). The Holy Spirit invites me to firmly uphold my hope
in the resurrection of Christ and his promise to be those who believe in him, to look all eternity face to face.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • I watch and listen inside myself, I follow Joseph of Arimathea, who took care of Jesus’ dead body, and the women who were watching it all. How do I experience all this? How does this affect my faith, hope and love? Do I feel the Holy Saturday Meaning and Message?
  • With my capacity for imagination, I am in spirit with Jesus in the grave. I ask for mercy so that with all my spiritual senses I can feel as deeply as possible and comprehend what Jesus has done for me and for the whole world by freely accepting all our sins of the world and their consequence – death and grave.

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).

8. Prayer at the end

Thank you, Father for your son who accepted all my sins and entered my graves so that I may live a new life with you, in free sonship and brotherhood of God.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel with the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home –

Text from the Bible – New International Version (NIV)

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!