Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea in Judea, came to Golgotha in the evening. He was an important member of the Sanhedrin who had not agreed with what they had decided to do about Jesus. He was also a righteous man and secretly one of Jesus’ followers. He looked forward to the coming of the kingdom of God.
He boldly approached Pilate to claim Jesus’ body. Pilate agreed to his request once he learned from the centurion that Jesus had already died. He was surprised that he had died so quickly.
Joseph removed Jesus’ body from the cross and wrapped it with fine linen he had bought. Nicodemus (the Pharisee who had earlier come at night to secretly talk with Jesus) was also there and he brought a large mixture of myrrh and aloe. They used it along with the linen to prepare Jesus’ body in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
Joseph placed the body in an unused tomb that was cut into the rock in a nearby garden. They did this because they did not have time to take care of the body because the Sabbath was quickly approaching. Joseph rolled a large stone over the entrance and then left.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph were seated nearby, watching where the body was placed. They returned to where they were staying and prepared spices and perfumes for the body. Then they rested, because it was the Sabbath.
MT 27:57-61, MK 15:42-47, LK 23:50-56, JN 19:38-42
The Jews didn’t want the bodies to stay on the cross through the next day because not only was it the Sabbath, but it was also the first day of Passover. They asked Pilate to have the men’s legs broken to hasten their death so that their bodies could be removed before the Sabbath began. The soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified alongside Jesus. They saw that Jesus was already dead when they came to him, so they did not break his legs. However, a soldier used a spear to pierce his side and blood and water immediately flowed out.
The one who saw this has told you this so that you might believe. He speaks the truth and is convinced that what he is saying is true.
These things fulfilled the Scriptures that say “None of his bones will be broken” and “They will look upon the One they have pierced.”
Many women were there who had followed and helped Jesus from when he was in Galilee. They were watching the crucifixion from a distance. They included Mary Magdalene, Mary who was James and Joseph’s mother, Salome, and the mother of James and John (the sons of Zebedee). Many other women had traveled with him up to Jerusalem.
MT 27:55-56, MK 15:40-41, LK 23:49
Darkness came over all the earth from noon until three. Jesus knew that all the Scriptures had been fulfilled at this point. Around three pm he yelled out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”
The people standing by thought he was calling out for Elijah. Jesus then called out, saying “I’m thirsty!” Someone ran to get a sponge, soaked up some sour wine that was in a nearby jar, and put it on a long hyssop reed to hold up to his mouth so he could drink. Another person said “Let’s wait to see if Elijah comes to rescue him!”
After Jesus had some of the wine, he said with a loud voice “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands. It is finished!” He bowed his head, breathed his last, and released his spirit.
Suddenly the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary ripped in half from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks broke in half, and the tombs of the dead were broken open. The bodies of the righteous were raised from the dead. They left their tombs after Jesus was resurrected and walked to Jerusalem, where many people saw them.
The centurion and the soldiers who were guarding Jesus saw all that had happened and were terrified. They said “This man really was the Son of God!” The crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle went home, striking their chests in grief after they witnessed the events.
MT 27:45-54, MK 15:33-39, LK 23:44-48, JN 19:28-30