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From Heaven With Love

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    Help From an Unexpected Place

    Joseph went boldly to Pilate and begged from him the body of Jesus. For the first time, Pilate learned that Jesus was dead. The knowledge of Christ's death had been purposely kept from him. Upon hearing Joseph's request, he sent for the centurion who had charge at the cross and drew from him an account of the scenes of Calvary, confirming the testimony of Joseph.HLv 515.2

    Joseph returned with Pilate's order for the body of Christ, and Nicodemus came bringing a costly mixture of myrrh and aloes of about a hundred pounds’ weight for His embalming. The most honored in all Jerusalem could not have been shown more respect in death. The disciples were astonished.HLv 515.3

    Neither Joseph nor Nicodemus had openly accepted the Saviour while He was living. Such a step would exclude them from the Sanhedrin, and they hoped to protect Him by their influence in its councils. But the wily priests had thwarted their plans. In their absence Jesus had been condemned. Now Joseph and Nicodemus no longer concealed their attachment to Him. They came boldly to the aid of the poor disciples.HLv 515.4

    Gently and reverently with their own hands they removed the body of Jesus from the cross. Tears of sympathy fell as they looked on His bruised and lacerated form. Joseph owned a new tomb, hewn in rock, reserved for himself. But it was near Calvary, and he now prepared it for Jesus. There the three disciples straightened the mangled limbs and folded the bruised hands on the pulseless breast. The heavy stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb, and the Saviour was left at rest.HLv 515.5

    While the evening shadows were gathering, Mary Magdalene and the other Marys lingered about the resting place of their Lord, shedding tears of sorrow. “And they returned, ... and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56.HLv 516.1

    That was a never-to-be-forgotten Sabbath to the disciples, the priests, rulers, scribes, and people. The Passover was observed as it had been for centuries, while He to whom it pointed lay in Joseph's tomb. The courts of the temple were filled with worshipers. The high priest was there, splendidly robed. Priests, full of activity, performed their duties.HLv 516.2

    But some present were not at rest as the blood of bulls and goats was offered for sin. They were not conscious that type had met antitype, that an infinite sacrifice had been made for the sins of the world. But never before had that service been witnessed with such conflicting feelings. A sense of strangeness pervaded everything. The most holy place had been sacredly guarded from intrusion, but now, the heavy veil rent from top to bottom, it was open to all eyes—a place no longer recognized by the Lord. The uncovering of the most holy place filled the priests with dread of coming calamity.HLv 516.3

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