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and went in boldly unto Pilate and craved the body of Jesus." And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead :" and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any, while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they' the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden ; and in the garden a new sepulchre, hewn out of a rock wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore, because of the Jews' preparation day. And Joseph rolled a great stone unto the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And the women
Criminals executed for treason were not allowed the rites of burial.
b Hence we may infer how grievous this punishment was, Pilate being surprized to hear our Saviour was dead in the evening, though he was crucified before noon,
· A proof of Nicodemus' wealth, and of his great veneration for our Saviour. The ancient usage of the Jews at grand funerals was to lay the corpse in a bed filled with sweet odours and spices; 2 Chron. xvi. 14, which, or a part of which, were burned when it was buried. Ibid. xxi. 19. Jerem. xxxiv. 54. The same custom seems to have continued among them in the days of our Saviour.
The Jews of rank and opulence, agreeably to the prophecy of Isaiah liji 9.
e l'he Jewish law forbade that a dead body should remain all night upon the tree, (Deut. xvi. 23 ;) and more especially, when so high a festival was approaching.
also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld Sepulchre in the sepulchre, and how his body near Mount was laid, and they returned, and Calvary. prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
141. The transactions on the day after the
Now the next day, that Place. A. D. 33. followed the day of the
Jerusalem. the cruci- preparation, the chief priests and
fixion. Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye
a Whatever was the use of the myrrh and aloes which Nicodemus brought they could not be designed for the anointing of the body. The women must certainly have known what had been done, and yet were extremely solicitous to prepare or purchase unguents and spices that they might go and aniont him, which they did before the sabbath began.
That is, Friday evening at sunset, when their sabbath commenced; the Jews always reckoning their day from the preceding evening,
· His party will be stronger than before, if the people believe this,
have a watch: go your way, make it sure as you can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
Time. And when the sabbath was past, A.D. 33. Mary Magdalene, and Mary the moday, after ther of James, and Salome, had bought the 6th
hour sweet spices, that they might come in the even- and anoint him. ing.
* The precaution of sealing the stone often occurs in ancient times, particularly see Dan. vi. 17.
Answering to our Saturday evening.
END OF THE SIXTH PART.