Mark 15:40-47 Jesus Is Buried

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Mark 15:40-47 NLTse Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. (41) They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there. (42) This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, (43) Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesusbody. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) (44) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. (45) The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. (46) Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus‘ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. (47) Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesusbody was laid.

Mark 9 16

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This scene introduces a new character, Joseph of Arimathea. Why is a new person introduced at this point? Where were Jesus’ disciples and friends? Some times we see details in missing information, in this case missing people who have played an important role up to this point. The author also repeats two names, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joseph. Why is the author drawing attention to these two out of all those gathered at the cross?

Many of the people left when darkness covered the land. Those who remained were as surprised when the light returned as when it left. Most of the people remaining were Jesus’ followers, sitting in small groups scattered over the hill side. Once their eyes adjusted to the light, many stood up, approaching the cross. Guards around the crosses held their ground. The smaller crowd appeared to be much less of a threat, but the guards were still out numbered.

The gentle crowd kept their distance, staying a respectful distance from the guards. They stood in shock looking up at Jesus. After only a few minutes Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” His words shocked His followers. They stood staring up at the cross while Jesus breathed His last. His head dropped as His body went limp. His followers stared for minutes watching closely for any sign of life. More than an hour passed before any of Jesus’ followers spoke a word. Each one thought of what the world just lost. Also of the friend and Teacher the world prematurely silenced.

Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. They thought of the stories Jesus told, people He healed, how He complimented them on every task they performed to serve Him and His disciples. Why would anyone want to kill Jesus? It all happened so quickly. Only a few days ago Jesus left Bethany to go to Jerusalem where He taught in the temple court. They all heard the story of Jesus over throwing the tables and releasing the sacrificial animals. The following day they saw the effects in the courtyard. They listened to Jesus tell stories about a group of ungrateful tenants, disobedient sons, and a king’s friends too busy to attend the wedding feast he prepared for his son. They thought about the Passover meal, the symbols Jesus showed them, and His warning to Peter and the others. Looking back they could see Jesus was trying to tell them much more. After He went to the garden, that was it, the end of His ministry. It seemed to happen so fast. Jesus was taken to the high priest’s home that night. They all knew something was not right. But what could they do? Some tried to point out the injustice when Pilate questioned Jesus, but were shouted down by the crowd.

Many other women who came with Jesus to Jerusalem were also there remembering what he taught, who He healed, and helped. Some of the women began weeping as the disciples and others tried to comfort them. The shock left them with no words. The disciples were also thinking about their time with Jesus and everything He taught as well as all the miracles they witnessed. There was no doubt, God was with Him. How could Jesus die such a horrible death?

This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus‘ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) As Joseph looked up at the cross he could not believe anyone could be treated with such cruelty. Not even Barabbas deserved such treatment. The site was despicable. Joseph was ashamed as he stood quietly at the mock trial and watched guards and priests beat Jesus. He felt helpless as the priests took Jesus to Pilate. Joseph felt the time arrived to do something, he decided to beg Pilate for Jesus’ body. The least he could do was give Jesus a descent burial. Looking up at Jesus on the cross, it didn’t matter what the other religious leaders thought about him.

Joseph went to Pilate’s palace to beg an audience with him. Caiaphas already spoke to Pilate, demanding he take down the sign over Jesus’ head identifying Him as the King of the Jews. Pilate had enough, ordering his guard not to allow an audience with another Jew until after the the festival. As soon as Joseph was informed of the order, he told the guard he brought important news about Jesus, He was dead. The guard stood in shock for a moment. He remembered hearing Jesus speak, with many words touching his heart. He instantly took Joseph in to see Pilate who couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body.

Joseph walked the road back to Golgotha. On the way he felt a small sense of accomplishment, thanking God for Pilate’s cooperation. Joseph suddenly remembered a burial required preparation. He looking ahead, he saw the sun about to set. Not having time to collect all the materials to make proper arrangements, Joseph stopped at home to collect a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus‘ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus‘ body was laid.

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