It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
When we look at Mark’s account of Jesus’ death, and compare it with the other (3) accounts, a question you may ask is, why did everything seem rushed in Mark? Mark gives some good details, such as who took Jesus’ body, what day everything happened, the process of getting Jesus’ body and how the women knew where the tomb was. However, Mark does not go into how the Centurion knew for sure that Jesus was in fact dead, no details about the linen, why they didn’t roll Jesus in spices yet, the soldiers guarding the tomb, the seal on the rock, etc… Instead, he just gave the basic information needed. The reason such other details can be found in the other gospels is not so much so that we could compare them and get the full story that way (although I wouldn’t doubt the Lord saw such future potential), but because only so much was needed for each audience to whom the gospels were written.
Remember, Mark was written for/to the Roman Christians. So some details, such as the brief explanation of when the Preparation Day was, were helpful. Understanding the steps Pilate took before giving Joseph the body made better sense to them…it was what they would have needed to understand or to fully believe that Jesus was dead. And they didn’t need to know all the details for Jesus’ burial.
The other reason it all seemed rushed is because, though Jesus’ death is very important, the main event, the “Hooray!” of the Gospel story, is Jesus’ resurrection. That, and that Jesus will in fact meet His disciples in Galilee, just as He said He would.
- The Resurrection
- The continued mission/journey of the Apostles.
- Mark would also write of Paul’s journeys, as would Luke, the author of the Gospel named after him, and Acts.
In other words, the Gospels are not the end of the story, but an encore, so to say, for they don’t end with Jesus’ death, nor do they end with Jesus’ resurrection. Instead, they open up to include sequels…sequels about the 12, about all who carried on the message, all who accepted the message, and even to us: the story continues.
- How will the Target Audience respond?
- Who will accept this and what will they do with it?
The fact that it’s continued for about 2000 years, despite:
- All who fought to destroy or dismantle it
- The fact that the Bible is the one book ever written that’s sold or given away the most copies
- The fact that when you look at all the old manuscripts of other and secular masterpieces, the Bible / Holy Scriptures are the only ones we have full records of and knowledge that what we have are exact copies of the original manuscripts
- The fact that if even every Bible was to be destroyed, the shelves in every public library would tell of the Scriptures solely due to the writings and comments about them from secular authors, philosophers and history books alone
- The fact that it’s still an issue among atheists and people of “other” religions, even to the point of killing Christians
- Just the fact that people even today and through the ages have and continuously died for its sake (not the sake of a religion, movement or military agenda, but for the sake of standing for Truth and Christ)
…shows that the Gospel has been well received and also continues to be.
The resurrection of Jesus’ was not the end, but the beginning of something awesome and new.
- A new beginning
- A mission
- Means of receiving salvation
- A new race (a Christian race)
- People of God
- Introduction to God
- Fulfillment of Judaism
Revelation is another event that’s expected and understood as being the end, but is in fact again, a New Journey.