Mark 15:42

The evening had already fallen, when, as it was the Preparation day – the day before the Sabbath –

awkward time
late afternoon

press on
put off

both right
both wrong

late afternoon
awkward time

Mark is going to pack a great deal into the hours between 3:00 and 6:00 PM. It would be handy to have a deus ex machina such as Joshua’s sun that stopped moving.

Sabbath was quickly approaching in which rest is a key understanding. This includes Jesus’ body resting. It must be noted that decomposition does not rest, Sabbath or no Sabbath.

If Jesus is to be buried within three hours, with no prior arrangements having been made, there is no time to waste.

The first question to be addressed is who will begin filling out the necessary forms to have Jesus taken from the cross. Then comes the adjudication of permission. This is followed by the identification of a tomb that will receive Jesus’ body. At best his body will find its resting place. The likelihood of preparation of his body through cleansing and anointing is unlikely.

There continues to be a bit of confusion about what day it is because Mark uses the Roman day (sunrise to sunrise) but references Jewish markers that use a day that runs from sunset to sunset.

Metaphorically this day of death is Jesus’ Preparation Day for rising.

If we are simply dealing with a timeline, LeVeriere2313 says:

Evening began around 6:00 p.m., before sunset. By the Roman reckoning, Passover had ended that morning, and Jesus was crucified the day after Passover, the day of preparation for the sabbath, which would begin the following morning, Saturday at 6:00 a.m.

By Roman reckoning there is sufficient time to complete these tasks by the next morning. For the Jewish community we are running out of time, which will somewhat account for a lack of a final anointing.

There is not just a time element here. Jesus has died an unhonorable death. All the amenities of a funeral with the usual ritual and mournings are not expected and out-of-place. Time and dishonor will play their part in the next scenes.

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