Entombment of Christ

Entombment of Christ

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The Entombment redirects here. For other uses, The Entombment (disambiguation)
The Entombment (disambiguation)
The Entombment usually refers to the entombment of Christ.The Entombment may also refer to a number of representations of this in art, including :*The Entombment *The Entombment...



The Entombment of Christ, that is to say the burial of Jesus Christ, occurred after his death by crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

, when, according to the gospel accounts, he was placed in a new tomb
Tomb of Jesus
Several places have been proposed as the tomb of Jesus, the place where Jesus Christ was buried:*Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, accepted by many Christians and scholars as built on ground on which Jesus was crucified and buried...

 belonging to Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.-Gospel references:...

.

Biblical account


All four Canonical gospels state that, on the evening of the Crucifixion
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

, Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus' Crucifixion. He is mentioned in all four Gospels.-Gospel references:...

 asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and that, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth
Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy. The image on the shroud is...

 and laid it
Descent from the Cross
The Descent from the Cross , or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion . In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the...

 in a tomb
Tomb of Jesus
Several places have been proposed as the tomb of Jesus, the place where Jesus Christ was buried:*Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, accepted by many Christians and scholars as built on ground on which Jesus was crucified and buried...

. John records that Joseph was assisted in the burial process by Nicodemus
Nicodemus
Saint Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, who, according to the Gospel of John, showed favour to Jesus...

, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes and included these spices in the burial cloth as per Jewish customs. Matthew 27:66 mentions that they "made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard."

Theological significance


Paul includes the burial in his statement of the gospel in verses 3 and 4 of 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians: 15 is the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians by Paul the Apostle. The first eleven verses are the earliest account of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the New Testament. The rest of the chapter stresses the primacy of the resurrection for Christianity...

: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (KJV). This appears to be an early pre-Pauline credal statement
Creed
A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith...

.

The burial of Christ is specifically mentioned in the Apostles' Creed
Apostles' Creed
The Apostles' Creed , sometimes titled Symbol of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol"...

, where it says that Jesus was "crucified
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally executed on a cross...

, dead, and buried." The Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism
The Heidelberg Catechism is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Reformed Christian doctrine...

 asks "Why was he buried?" and gives the answer "His burial testified that He had really died."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church. A provisional, "reference text" was issued by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992 — "the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" — with his apostolic...

 states that, "It is the mystery of Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday , sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter...

, when Christ, lying in the tomb, reveals God's great sabbath rest after the fulfillment of man's salvation, which brings peace to the whole universe" and that "Christ's stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easter and his glorious and risen state today."

James B. Jordan
James B. Jordan
James B. Jordan is a Protestant theologian and author. He is director of Biblical Horizons ministries, a think tank in Niceville, Florida that publishes books, essays and other media dealing with Bible commentary, Biblical Theology, and liturgy.-Education:Jordan attended the University of Georgia,...

 suggests that the seal on Jesus' tomb is anticipated in the fact that the den was sealed in the story of Daniel in the lions' den
Daniel in the lions' den
The story of Daniel in the lions' den is found in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible. Daniel is an official in the Persian empire under King Darius, who had made a decree that no-one was to offer prayer to any god or man except him for a period of thirty days...

.

Depiction in art



The Entombment of Christ has been a popular subject in art, being developed in Western Europe in the 10th century. It appears in cycles of the Life of Christ
Life of Christ
The Life of Christ as a narrative cycle in Christian art comprises a number of different subjects, which were often grouped in series or cycles of works in a variety of media, narrating the life of Jesus on earth, as distinguished from the many other subjects in art showing the eternal life of...

, where it follows the Deposition of Christ or the Lamentation of Christ
Lamentation of Christ
350px|thumb|Lamentation by [[Giotto di Bondone]] in the [[Scrovegni Chapel]]The Lamentation of Christ is a very common subject in Christian art from the High Middle Ages to the Baroque. After Jesus was crucified, his body was removed from the cross and his friends and family mourned over his body...

. Since the Renaissance, it has sometimes been combined or conflated with one of these.

Notable works

  • The Entombment (Michelangelo)
  • The Deposition (Raphael)
  • The Entombment (Bouts)
    The Entombment (Bouts)
    The Entombment is a glue-size painting on linen attributed to the Early Netherlandish painter Dirk Bouts. It shows a scene from the biblical entombment of Christ, probably completed between 1440 and 1455 as a wing panel for a large hinged polyptych altarpiece...

  • The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)
    The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)
    The Entombment of Christ is a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It was painted for Santa Maria in Vallicella, a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, and adjacent to the buildings of the order...


Use in hymnody


The Af­ri­can-Amer­i­can spir­it­u­al
Spiritual (music)
Spirituals are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.-Terminology and origin:...

 Were you there? has the line "Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?" while the Christmas carol
Christmas carol
A Christmas carol is a carol whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general and which are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas.-History:...

 We Three Kings
We Three Kings
"We Three Kings", also known as "We Three Kings of Orient Are" or "The Quest of the Magi", is a Christmas carol written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who wrote both the lyrics and the music. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns...

includes the verse:

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

John Wilbur Chapman
John Wilbur Chapman
John Wilbur Chapman was a Presbyterian evangelist in the late 19th Century, generally traveling with gospel singer Charles Alexander. His parents were Alexander H. and Lorinda Chapman.-Faith & Education:Chapman grew up attending Quaker Day School and Methodist Sunday School...

's hymn "One Day" interprets the burial of Christ by saying "Buried, He carried my sins far away."