I call this “Dark Saturday” for two reasons. First, Jesus is in his tomb. There are stories about what Jesus did while he was dead but none of them are biblical. The Apostles’ Creed Ecumenical Version says that “he descended to the dead” which is not very enlightening. Second, the Bible tells us very little about that Saturday after Jesus was crucified. Matthew tells us that the chief priests and Pharisees got permission from Pilate to guard the tomb of Jesus. Luke says, “They rested on the Sabbath.” John says nothing about that day. And Mark tells us that after sundown on Saturday “Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James bought some spices to put on Jesus’ body.”
Mary Magdalene was not a former prostitute. Neither is there any indication that she was the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet. Nor is there any reason to conflate her with Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Luke 8:1-3 lists Mary Magdalene with Joanna and Susanna as women who had been healed by Jesus and were using what they owned to help Jesus and his disciples. This passage also says that Mary once had seven demons in her. Magdala, for which she gets the moniker Magdalene, was a city on the western shore of Lake Galilee.
Salome is identified in Matthew 27:56 as the mother of the sons of Zebedee. The sons of Zebedee are James and John. John 19:25 identifies Salome as the sister of Jesus’ mother, Mary. That would mean that Salome is Jesus’ aunt and that James and John are his first cousins.
Mary the mother of James is almost certainly also Jesus’ mother. James, the brother of Jesus, was well known in the church as the first bishop of Jerusalem. I am not sure why Mark refers to Mary as the mother of James and not as the mother Jesus. My supposition is that Peter, from whom Mark received this first-hand account of Jesus, always wanted to include James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, in his telling of the gospel story.
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Caring for the needs of our church and community through prayer, deeds, inspiration and love in the Spirit of Christ.
Sunday Worship: 10 am
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First Kids Mother's Day Out
(Tuesday & Thursday; 8am to 2pm; Ages 1-3)
Rev Pat Bell, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Sealy
200 Atchison Street
Sealy, Texas 77474