XLIII. Burial in Joseph’s Tomb
166. Joseph and Nicodemus Bury Jesus
42And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the councila who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God,b took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
58Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
38So he came and took away his body. 39Nicodemus also, who had at first come to him by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds' weight. 40They took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
41Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid. 42So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. 60And Joseph laid Jesus' body in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
54It was the day of Preparation and the Sabbath was beginning.c 55The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Maryd were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre. 56Then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
(Mk. 15:42–43; Mt. 27:58; Jn. 19:38–42; Mt. 27:60; Lk. 23:54–55; Mt. 27:61; Lk. 23:56)
a “the council”—the Sanhedrin.
b “looking for the kingdom of God”—Jesus in his kingdom teachings always emphasized the kingdom as a present reality—the rule of the Father in the heart of the believer. So why is Joseph “looking for the kingdom”? This is because the Jews of this period regarded the kingdom as something that was coming (in spectacular fashion) in their future. In this respect they looked especially to Daniel and the prophecy of the Great Image.
In this prophecy King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that depicts the coming of the kingdom of God to earth. Daniel volunteers to interpret the dream. It reveals that four great kingdoms will rule the (Western) world. The first kingdom is Nebuchednezzar's Babylon; it will be followed by Persia, then Greece, and finally Rome. This series of conquering world empires ends with Rome; it gradually declines and disintegrates (becomes divided) into its constituent parts, the Roman provinces, and is overrun by various barbarian tribes. (continued next page)
c “the Sabbath was beginning”—The Sabbath began at sundown on Friday evening.
d “the other Mary”—Mary, the wife of Clopas.
Mt. 27:60 And Joseph laid Jesus' body in / and laid it in (RSV) (188:0–1/2012–3)