19:38 secretly. On the account of Jesus’ burial, see also the notes on Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; and Luke 23:50-53. Joseph was a member of the Council which had condemned Jesus, though he did not consent to this (Luke 23:51). He had been a disciple of Jesus for some time, but “secretly.” This does not suggest cowardice, however, but strategy. In fact, the Greek word for “secretly” is krupto, from which we get our word “cryptic.” It actually means “under cover” or “in hiding.” It may well suggest that Joseph was hiding in the tomb he had built, watching the crucifixion, so that he would know exactly when Jesus died and could go immediately to Pilate, who was surprised to learn he was already dead.
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