The Entombment Story

The burial of Jesus’s body is a story told in all four Gospels of the New Testament, though with varying details. For Christians, Jesus’s death and burial emphasized his human nature, creating a heightened contrast with his miraculous resurrection, or return to life, three days later.

Following Jesus’s death by crucifixion, a man known as Joseph of Arimathea went to the Roman governor of Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, to ask permission to take Jesus’s body away for burial. Pilate approved, so Joseph purchased fine linen cloth, removed Jesus’ body from the cross, and wrapped the body in the cloth. He was assisted by Nicodemus, who brought the traditional aloes and spices to include in the wrappings. The two men then carried Jesus’s body to Joseph’s home, where they laid the body in a rock-cut cave in the garden intended for Joseph’s own tomb, and rolled a large stone in front to seal the entrance.