Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. (Luke 23:50-54)
Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin Council, didn’t consent to taking Jesus to Pilate. Although he was a good and upright man, he lacked courage to tell the Council he believed Jesus was the Son of God. He was a secret disciple of Jesus because he didn’t want to be rejected by the Jews and not allowed into the temple.
Watching Jesus’ crucifixion changed him. He gained courage to give up Judaism and follow Jesus openly when he asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, took it down, prepared it, and placed it in his family tomb. He gave up wealth, his family tomb, for Jesus. According to Law only one family line could be placed in a tomb. He learned that what we give up for Jesus we get back. Jesus only needed the tomb to fulfill prophecy. Isaiah 53.9 stated the Messiah would be buried among the rich, but Jesus didn’t need a place to store his bones. Unlike our bodies, his body didn’t succumb to sin. He was able to take it to heaven. Joseph got his tomb back.
According to a BBC article, http://www.bbc.co.uk/thepassion/articles/joseph_of_arimathea.shtml England has many stories concerning Joseph of Arithmea. He was Jesus’ great uncle and brought Jesus to Somerset and Cornwall, England when Jesus was a teenager. More importantly, God’s mercy of Jesus taking our sins to the cross with Him changed Joseph’s heart. Not only did he gain courage that day, he became a missionary and brought Christianity to England and built England’s first church.
Father God, help me be courageous in my faith and do what I can for Jesus as Joseph did at the burial of Christ. Help me show others I have courage and joy because Jesus took away my sin at the cross and is now my refuge. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.