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Mark 15:42-47 The Burial of Jesus

by Dr. D ~ April 1st, 2007

     Vs. 42 Preparation Day- Friday before sunset was called the day of preparation since food and provisions were prepared ahead of time for the Sabbath (Saturday).

     Vs. 43 Joseph of Arimathea was a respected member of the Sanhedrin and a closet follower of Jesus. He was looking for the Kingdom of God and probably hoped that Jesus was the promised Messiah. He boldly goes to Pilate and asks for the body of Jesus, what an act of incredible courage. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose.  His associates on the council would have condemned his actions for sure.  Being closely identified with one who was crucified as a ‘traitor’ would not commend him to the Romans either.   

     Vs. 44-45 Pilate is surprised and checks to see if Jesus was already dead. The centurion confirms that Jesus is dead. This is major a testimony! The Roman soldiers knew how to kill people, they were experts. They also knew when someone was dead or maybe just unconscious. Jesus was dead. There go all the modern theories about Jesus coming too later and living a life as a regular person. According to the Roman centurion, Jesus was dead.  So Pilate gave permission to Joseph to take the body.

One wonders where all of the disciples of Jesus were?  Why didn’t any of them come for the body?  It was fortunate that Joseph of Arimathea came for Jesus because the Romans rarely surrendered the bodies of executed criminals to their friends or family.  It is remarkable that Pilate surrendered the body of Jesus to Joseph.

     Vs. 46  Joseph had Jesus taken down and he wrapped his body in a new linen shroud.  Then he took him and laid him in a new tomb carved in rock and had the rock rolled in front of the entrance and closed up.  According to the Gospel of John (19:39-42), Nicodemus helped Joseph.  Matthew (27:60) tells us that the tomb was made for Joseph.

     Vs. 47  As an interesting side note, apparently Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed the removal and burial of Jesus, and made plans to complete the preparation of the body on Sunday morning after the Sabbath was complete.  But that was Friday, the whole world changed once and for all Sunday morning.

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