But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee,
stood at a distance, watching these things.
Joseph, a religious leader who secretly believed in Jesus (see John 19:38), suddenly found the courage to ask Pilate for the body of the crucified Lord (Luke 23:52). Ponder for a moment what it would take to remove a body from a grisly crucifixion and tenderly prepare it for burial (v 53). Consider also the devotion and bravery of the women who stayed with the Lord Jesus every step of the way, even to the tomb (v 55).
These followers were not anticipating a resurrection; they were coming to terms with grief. The chapter ends without hope, merely a sombre, “Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (v 56).
Little did they know the Sabbath intermission was setting the stage for history’s most dramatic scene. The Lord Jesus was about to do the unimaginable. He would make death itself “not so.”
God of Heaven and Earth, thank You for the Lord Jesus, and His wonderful work on the cross for me. Amen.