A Proper Burial
After Jesus dies a man name Joseph asked Pilate for His body. He wanted to give Jesus a proper burial. This included cleaning and wrapping the body before laying Him in the tomb. Interestingly the Passover prevented any of the application of spices and other preservatives to the body.
After Joseph laid Jesus in the tomb, the Jewish priests remembered that Jesus had promised to come back from the dead. They thought that in order to keep the description alive, the disciples would steal the body. They asked Pilate to allow a few guards to be posted at the tomb to make sure that nothing would happen.
In the Grave
The stone was put in place and the tomb is sealed, Jesus' dead body was inside, the Roman guard was posted outside; the grave was secured.
With Jesus in the grave, His disciples fled into hiding. They huddle in homes mourning the loss of their master... and their hope. Many began doubting for the first time that Jesus was the awaited Messiah.
Hope Beyond the Grave
This part of the story ends very gloomy, but at the moment when it is easy to despair, we can be encouraged by the memory of the high priests. They remembered Jesus teaching that he would rise from the dead three days after His crucifixion, and because they remembered this teaching they requested soldiers to protect the tomb. Their memory of Jesus teaching reminds the reader that Jesus did indeed promise that he would rise from the dead.
Death cannot hold our King as He promised to Rise!