Isaiah 53 tells us that they had given Jesus a place among the wicked. At least that was their plan.
…And they made his grave with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9)
This was not a problem for Jesus and is another example of the irony we find throughout Matthew 27.
They seek to put Jesus among the wicked, thinking that would be the end of Him.
As it turns out that’s exactly where Jesus wanted to be, in order to save them. Among sinners like you and me was where Jesus would – and still does – do His best work.
Things don’t turn out the way the Priests and Elders had hoped. As Isaiah fits in to say, God placed Him among those who prosper.
and with a rich man in his death. (Isaiah 53:9)
God gave Jesus a royal burial in the grave of a wealthy righteous man.
Is it fitting for Jesus, who died so shamefully, to be buried in such splendour?
Matthew tells us that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus in a (pure, clean, fine) linen cloth and put him in the tomb (27:59).
Mark records the same thing (Mark 15:46) but adds that the women came to the tomb after the Sabbath with spices to anoint Jesus (Mark 16:1). Luke says essentially the same (Luke 23:50-24:1).
Only John elaborates: Joseph takes the body, Nicodemus brings “a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.” They wrap the body in linen “with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:38-42).
Consistent with this, John emphasises that Mary anoints Jesus “for My burial” with “very costly perfume,” (John 12:1-8).
Given the momentum of John’s gospel, this makes perfect sense.
Jesus’ death on the cross is an elevation and exaltation, a “lifting up.”
The next stage of his coronation would involve investiture and anointing. By preparing Jesus’ body with spices and myrrh, Joseph and Nicodemus confess that Jesus is King of the Jews.
More than that, Jesus is Lord – of, in and over the grave, and ready to come back in three days to be King of the Living.
John also records Jesus’ final words,
It is finished (John 19:30)
The phrase is a translation of one simple but powerful Greek word used for business in first-century Rome to rubber-stamp and finalise all debts between two parties. The word is Tetelestai, which translates, “Paid in full”.
The debt was your debt. It was your death as a result of your sin. Now paid in full.