50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man,
51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.
54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.
55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid.
56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.
On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. ”
Luke 23:50–56 ESV Read More

Only Mark mentions Joseph as having courage.The other Gospel writers, of course, imply it. John mentions that Nichodemus also came along to help him as they took away Jesus’ body. To be a Jewish man and come before Pilate, who just killed the King of the Jews, would take a lot of courage!

Everyone went home beating their chests, remember? Nobody was left, except for the Romans who were breaking the legs of the other crooks and standing guard to arrest any protesters.

But Joseph, who is also referred to as ‘very rich’ stuck around. He used his money and his influence to respect and honor Jesus in His death. He did the work and labor (along with Nichodemus) to embalm Jesus that afternoon and night with 75 pounds of fragrant chemicals and salts. He wrapped Jesus in linens that he went and bought before the town shut down for the Sabbath.

It wasn’t just any Sabbath. It was the Sabbath that came during the Passover. This was like having a wedding over Thanksgiving break, so everyone will be in town together! Even if he had no family at all, a wealthy man like him would have a lot of friends. (We can also deduce that he probably did have a large family, because otherwise he wouldn’t buy his own tomb. A tomb would serve a family for generations. If you were single, you’d just find a cousin to give your body some space someday.)

You could only celebrate the Passover if you were not unclean. As soon as you touched a dead body, you’d have to go to the temple, pay for some sacrifices, and wait until sundown the next day to be clean.

So there is rich and righteous Joseph, sitting outside on the Passover. Just him and Nichodemus, probably, sitting outside their homes talking about Jesus and missing Him.

All the while, God was working in their grief. The biggest Passover ever was in progress, and they’d know it soon enough.

Similar Posts