Saturday, October 16, 2021
42-45 Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.
46-47 Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, watched the burial.
-Mark 15:42-47 The Message
Jesus Is Buried
Verse 42: When evening had already come, since it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
Verse 43: Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself also waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
Verse 42 study: It was against the Jewish law to do physical work or travel on the Sabbath. The Sabbath started at sundown on Friday, ended at sundown on Saturday. Jesus died a few hours before sundown on Friday. It was against Jewish law to let a dead body be exposed overnight (Deuteronomy 21:23). Joseph came to bury Jesus’ body before the Sabbath began. If Jesus had died on the Sabbath when Joseph wasn’t there, the Romans would have taken his body down. If the Romans did take the body, no Jews would have confirmed his death, and the opposition could have disputed his resurrection.
Verses 42-43 studies: After Jesus’s death, Joseph of Arimathea asked for his body and sealed it in a new tomb. Joseph was an honored member of the Jewish Council; Joseph secretly followed Jesus as a disciple. Not all the Jewish leaders hated Jesus. Joseph took account of his risk and reputation to give a proper burial to his Lord. It’s scary, but Joseph took the risk and did what was right. If your Christian witness endangers your reputation, remember Joseph. As of today, he is remembered with admiration in the Christian Church. Can you name other members of the Jewish Council like that?
Verse 44: Now Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead.
Verse 44 study: Pilate was shocked he died so quickly, so he asked an official for a report to verify it. To deny the resurrection, people will say that Jesus didn’t die. His death was confirmed by the centurion. Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, the religious leaders, and the women who witnessed his burial. Jesus suffered physically on the cross to die.
Verse 45: And after learning this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
Verse 46: Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been cut out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Verse 46 study: The tomb was a man-made cave hewn from a hill. It was large enough to walk into. Joseph wrapped the body, put it in the tomb, and rolled a heavy stone across the entrance. The religious leaders watched where Jesus was buried. They put guards there to guard it and sealed the tomb to ensure no one would steal Jesus’ body and claim he had risen from the dead (Matthew 27:62-66).
Verse 47: Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, watched to see where He was laid.
Verse 47 study: These women can only do so much. they couldn’t speak before the Council in Jesus’ defense; they couldn’t appeal to Pilate; they couldn’t stand against the crowds or couldn’t overpower the Roman guards. They did what they could. The women stayed at the cross when the disciples fled; they followed Jesus’ body to its tomb and prepared his body for spices. Since they used the opportunities given to them, they were the first to witness the resurrection. God blessed their devotion and diligence. As believers, we should take advantage of our opportunities and do what we can for Christ. We shouldn’t worry about what we cannot do.
Father, we can understand that we can do what you want us to do. But our biggest worry is what we can do and not do. I pray that we do what is right and not worry about what we can’t do because you are perfect and know how to set things right. Let us remember this daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen!