For fifteen chapters the disciples of Jesus have been central figures in the story. Suddenly during Jesus’ crucifixion and at his burial they are nowhere to be seen. Instead we read about the women—Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses and Salome. Mark tells us that these women followed Jesus and provided for him. Joseph of Arimathea also entered the story. Joseph was one of the religious authorities, a member of the council, who had condemned Jesus. Joseph broke ranks, asked for Jesus’ body from Pilate and provided a tomb for Jesus’ body. After Jesus’ resurrection the disciples again took center stage and we read very little about the women or about Joseph.
The Lord uses different people in different ways to accomplish God’s will. There are times when we might play important roles and other times when we will only be stage hands. We might long to be lead actors or we might be comfortable and satisfied working behind the scenes. Whatever part we play we can rejoice that the Holy Spirit uses us and we can share God’s love and grace wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.