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The Burial of Jesus

42 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

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Mark 15:36. Saying, Let him alone, let us see if Elijah will come to save him. Mark relates these words as having been spoken by the soldier, while holding out the vinegar; but Matthew tells us that others used the same language. There is no inconsistency here, however; for it is probable that the jeering was begun by one person, but was eagerly seized by others, and loudly uttered by the multitude. The phrase, let him alone, appears to have implied not restraint, but ridicule; accordingly, the person who first mocked Christ, ironically addressing his companions, says, Let us see if Elijah will come. Others quickly followed, and every one sung the same song to his next neighbor, as usually happens with men who are agreed about any course. Nor is it of any importance to inquire if it was in the singular or plural number; for in either case the meaning is the same, the word being used in place of an interjection, as if they had said, Hush! Hush!

Mark 15:43, and Luke 23:51. Who also himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. The highest commendation bestowed on Joseph is, that he waited for the kingdom of God. He is likewise praised, no doubt, for righteousness, but this waiting for the kingdom of God was the root and source of his righteousness. By the kingdom of God, we must understand the renovation promised through Christ; for the perfection of order which, the prophets had every where promised, would exist at the coming of Christ, cannot exist, unless God assembles under his government those men who had gone astray. It is therefore pointed out in commendation of Joseph’s piety, that, during the disorder which then prevailed, he cherished the hope of that redemption which God had promised. Hence, too, arises the fear of God, and the desire of holiness and uprightness; for it is impossible for any one to dedicated himself to God, unless he expects that God will be his deliverer.

Yet let us observe, that while salvation through Christ was promised indiscriminately to all the Jews, and while the promise of it was common to them all, it is only of a very few that the Holy Spirit testifies what we are here told of Joseph. Hence it is evident, that nearly the whole of the people had buried in base forgetfulness the inestimable grace of God. All of them, indeed, had on their lips the language of boasting in reference to the coming of Christ, which was approaching; but few had the covenant of God fixed in their minds, so as to rise by faith to spiritual renovation. That was indeed an awful insensibility; and therefore we need not wonder if pure religion fell into decay, when the faith of salvation was extinguished. Would to God that a similar corruption did not prevail in this unhappy age! Christ once appeared as a Redeemer to the Jews and to the whole world, as had been declared in the predictions of the prophets. He set up the kingdom of God, by restoring affairs from confusion and disorder to a regular and proper condition. He has assigned to us a period of warfare, to exercise our patience till he come again from heaven to complete his reign which he has commenced. How many are there who aspire to this hope, even in a moderate degree? Do not almost all cleave to the earth, as if there had been no promise of a resurrection? But while the greater part of men, forgetful of their end, fall off on all sides, let us remember that it is a virtue peculiar to believers, to seek the things which are above, (Colossians 3:1;) and especially since the grace of God has shone upon us through the Gospel,

teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, justly, and piously, in the present world, looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of the great God,
(Titus 2:11-13.)