Mark 15:46

Joseph, having bought a linen sheet, took Jesus down, and wound the sheet around him, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock; and then rolled a stone up against the entrance of the tomb.

the market couldn’t have been
closer to closing
had to bargain
just to begin bargaining

I was over a barrel
and paid for linen
as though it were gold
what am I doing

might as well finish
hey you Cyrene
want to finish the job
I’ll pay you too

rats I forgot
one more payment
that tomb there
that one how much

push that rock
okay job well done
what a strange day
I’ll sleep well tonight

The last time a “linen cloth” was referenced it was in the hands of those arresting Jesus and its wearer was running away. Consider the added irony of Jesus going to the grave wrapped in the garb of one of his betrayers.

If one wants to play with the later mystery of the Shroud of Turin, we might see Jesus transfiguring, blessing, and forgiving all acts of betrayal—an abundance of mercy.

Some commentators argue that this is the original concluding verse. This does end the beginning of the good news promised in 1:1. If anything were added after the stone precludes any further encounter with Jesus, it would become a next beginning of good news. We might speculate what a Markan sequel would look like, compared to Luke’s Acts of the Apostles.

It is worth a pause to look at the Greek behind the English “wrapped”, ἐνειλέω (eneileō). Mann658 writes:

eneileō has a very wide range of meanings, from shackling a prisoner, holding people in debt, or wrapping children in clothing, to the quite neutral sense of “to wrap.”

Shackling would have Joseph closing the action of the Sanhedrin by immobilizing Jesus in a tomb, never to be seen or heard again. This argues his actions are based on piety, not secret discipleship. Holding people in debt returns us to the woman at the treasury putting in her last half-pennies. Wrapping children (swaddling), comforts and protects them as they begin their journey through life. Or, wrapping is just, descriptively, wrapping. What would you pick?

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