BIBLE READING: MARK 15
43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
“Joseph of Arimathaea” is mentioned in all four gospels. We are given little tidbits of information at each mention. Here we are told that he was honorable, so we can assume he was a “GOOD” man. He was also an adviser to the Sanhedrin, so we can assume he was a “GIFTED” man. Notice what we are told in Matthew:
* Matthew 27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:
So we can assume he was a “GODLY” man. What I am most interested in, though, is the amazing, precious responsibility he performed in caring for the body of Jesus. Can you just stop for a second today and think what that would have been like to bear the very body of Jesus Christ. The Bible says he “craved” it, he carried it, He covered it, and he concealed it in the tomb. What great care he took of the body of Jesus. Not just that, did you know that he actually built the tomb of Jesus. Notice:
* Matthew 27:60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
Now some people believe that this was a tomb that he had made for himself, that he voluntarily gave to use for the body of Jesus. Notice the phrase “in his own new tomb”. Some believe that this was a tomb that he actually went to the work chiseling, and grinding out of a rock just for Jesus. We do know that this tomb had never been used for anyone else before. I personally believe that this was a tomb that Joseph had built for himself and volunteered it to use for Jesus because as best I can tell, Jesus borrowed everything while he was here on earth, including His own grave. After all, He would only need it for three days.
While unnoticed by most people that day at the crucifixion, Joseph had a very important job. Often Jesus uses the most unexpected people to do the most unordinary things. It wasn’t one of Jesus’ inner circle disciples, and it wasn’t even a member of his own family, but just a faithful disciple that had this privilege. Just a good, Godly man that spent his own money, gave his own time, and even his own grave to honor Jesus.
* Luke 23:50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: