Page images

tempt *.

[ocr errors]

cating to Tiberius, the pretentions of a descend- Chapter Verle ant of David to the throne of Israel -Con

And was it possible this contempt should have remained in their minds if they had seen thefe awful, these alarming spectacles exhibited in the hour of his death? Nay, had they been informed of thein, would they not have made enquiry as to its truth ? and upon conviction; Would they ? Could they, consistent with their duty or safety, have concealed it from the emperor? Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and other Christian writers, have disgraced themselves by endeavouring to supply this information for Pilate.

We will now proceed with St. Matthews " When the evening was come, there came a xxvii. 57

rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple. (A concealed

one.) He went to Pilate and begged the body i of Jesus : then Pilate commanded the body to ? be delivered. Mark's account coincides with this, but is more copious, viz. And when the I even was come, because it was the preparation, ' that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of

Arimathea, an honourable counfellor, which was • also waiting for the kingdom of God, came, and

went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” (I see not wherein the boldness of this

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

act lay : if he was a disciple of Jesus; it was secretly (John tells us) for fear of the Jews. This fear of the Jews is a little problematical : Matthew tells us, he was a rich man, and in that case, there was a certain preliminary article not easily digested— Sell that thou hast, give to the poor, . and follow me *:' He however appeared before Pilate, as a counsellor of the Jews, and not as a disciple 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. Here we find Pilate would not suffer the body to be removed till he was fatisfied the sentence had been fully executed : and of whom does he make this enquiry? Why of the centurion, whose duty it was to see it done ; the centurion who did see it done, and who (according to Matthew) struck with fear at the awful spectacle, ex claimed – Truly this was the Son of God:' and yet it seems he here contented himself with simply assuring the governor that. Jesus was really dead. So circumstanced, and thus called upon, could he have suppressed the amazing partịculars? It was his duty to have related them; and had he done it, we surely should have been told the effect it had upon the humane Pilate. The honourable counsellor, Joseph the disciple

Vide Page 94.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was present ; He could want neither abilities or Chapter Verse
inclination to describe this scene to St. Mark,
who in course would have recorded it. Nei.
ther Matthew, Luke, or John, mention this en-
quiry. Luke fays— And behold there was a

man named Joseph, a counsellor, and a good

man, and a just : the same had not consented to ' the counsel and deed of them, he was of Ari& mathea, a city of the Jews, who also himself

waited for the kingdom of God. This man

went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, John says. After this, Jofeph of Arimathea ; ' being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear

of the Jews : besought Pilate that he might ' take away the body of Jesus : and Pilate gave Phim leave. So far we find a general harmony in this affair; though some record particulars omitted by others. We will now proceed with Matthew - When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his .60 own new tomb. (How happened Joseph of Ari

mathea to have a tomb in the suberb of Je? rusalem ?) Which he had hewn out in the 'rock. (If for this purpose, he must have been

very expeditious) And be rolled a great stone

to the door of the fepulchre, and departed, " And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other 61

Mary, fitting over against the sepulchre.' Mark
says And he (Joseph) brought fine linen, and
$ took him down, and wrapped him in the linen,



xxvii. 59


s and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn < out of a rock ; and rolled a stone unto the door

of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he

was laid Luke says~' And he (Joseph) took Sit down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in ļ a sepulchre, that was hewn in stone, wherein

never man before was laid. And that day was ! the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. . And the women also which came with him from

Galilee, followed after, and beheld the fepul

chre, and how his body was laid ; and they * returned, and prepared spices and ointments ;

and rested the fabbath day, according to the • commandment. John fays' He (Joseph)

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 sepul? chre, wherein was never man yet laid. There ' laid they Jesus therefore, because of the Jew's

preparation day ; for the sepulchre was nigh at

hand.' Here we find some differences. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, say the body was depofiţed by Joseph of Arimathea. John says it was


[ocr errors]

done by Joseph ; and Nicodemus a Pharisee and Chapter Verse ruler of the Jews ; and adds, that the latter brought with him about an hundred pounds of myrrh and alloes (which they likewise call spices) and which they used about the body conformable to the Jewish custom. Nothing is said about spices by Matthew or Mark ; Luke says, the two Marys, after seeing the body intombed, went home to prepare spices and ointments. Matthew says the sepulchre belonged to Joseph, and was hewn by him out of a roik. Mark, Luke, and John say not so ; though the latter is very particular in describing the place, and intimates that it was chosen, as being contiguous to the place of execution, on account of the Sabbath's approach. We will now return to St. Matthew, who records an anecdote, which though an interesting matter, is omitted by the other three, viz.— Now the xxvii. 62

next day that followed the day of the prepara

tion (I cannot make out,what day is here meant) • the chief priests and Pharisees came together y unto Pilate, saying, Sir we remember that that

deceiver said, while he was yet alive-After

three days, I will rise again-Command there, ! fore that the sepulchre be made sure until the

third day, left 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 faid-ye I have a watch, go your way, make it sure as you


[ocr errors]



« PreviousContinue »