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Offer God your best

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | October 4, 2023 | Matthew 27:57-61

KEY VERSE: and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. Matt 27:60a


The best comes from God, and therefore God deserves the best from us. Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and very influential in the political space. He had such great influence that he could walk to Pilate and get the body of an executed criminal. He was very connected, and of course, with his wealth, he could buy his way through any door.

Our focus today is on where this rich man placed the body of Jesus when he took it down from the cross; a freshly hewn Tomb from the rocks. A new tomb which he had hewn from the rock for himself and his family, as was the practice of the rich to purchase land for their grave sites to bury themselves and their family members when they die.

Joseph would have gotten the best of sites and lands for his burial place and would have been the first to use it, but he saw the need to relinquish this to accommodate the body of Jesus. That was his best, yet he didn't mind for Jesus to have it first. Joseph sacrificed his own privilege and preference to honour Jesus with his best.

It might have been just a tomb hewn out of the rock for a rich man and his family to be buried in when they died, but because he gave that space to Jesus, it has become a place the world cannot stop talking about after many years of the event.


When we offer what we value most to God first, He multiplies its value and impact. Our best may seem insignificant to us, but it becomes priceless and powerful when we place it in God’s hands.


Dear Lord, take my best and make it so much more valuable for the cause of your kingdom. For your dear name's sake. Amen



The Phrase "Hewn Out" is translated from the following Greek words: "λαξεύω" (laxeúō): This verb means "to cut into" or "to hew." It is used to describe the action of cutting or carving something, in this case, a tomb out of rock.

While the specific term "laxeúō" might not be extensively used in the New Testament, the concept of hewing or cutting stones is prevalent, especially in the context of constructing tombs or buildings. For example:

  1. In the Old Testament, hewing stones is mentioned in the construction of altars (Exodus 20:25) and in building structures (1 Kings 5:17).

  2. In the New Testament, Jesus refers to the destruction of the temple and the stones not being left upon another (Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2), highlighting the significance of hewn stones in construction.

In Matthew 27:60, the phrase "hewn out" describes the process of carving a tomb out of rock. Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy disciple of Jesus, provided his own new tomb for the burial of Jesus. The verse teaches us about

  1. Symbolism of Newness: The use of the term "new tomb" indicates that it had not been used before. This underscores the freshness and uniqueness of the tomb chosen for the burial of Jesus.

  2. Honouring Jesus: Joseph's act of providing a tomb carved out of rock reflects a level of honour and respect for Jesus. It goes beyond a utilitarian purpose and signifies a dignified and honourable burial.

  3. Fulfilment of Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 prophesied that the Messiah's grave would be with the rich. Joseph's act of providing his own tomb aligns with this prophecy and underscores Jesus' identity as the prophesied Messiah.

Contemplating the phrase "hewn out" invites us to consider the intentionality and respect in the burial of Jesus. It prompts us to reflect on the honour due to Christ, not only in His death but also in the way His burial was orchestrated by those who recognized His significance.


How does the meticulous preparation of Jesus' burial speak to the reverence due to Him, and what does it reveal about the character of those involved?

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