Mighty Men Of God [3]: Joseph of Arimathea’s Sacrifice

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Read:  Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself also waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Mark 15:43

Examine: We see Joseph of Arimathea in all the four gospels. Joseph was a wealthy man who came from Arimathea in Judea. ( Matthew 27:57)

He was a good and righteous man who managed to be both a member of the Council (the Sanhedrin) and a secret supporter of Jesus (John 19:38) – which is why he did not join in the Council’s actions against Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea was “a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God (Mark 15:43)

After the death of Jesus, Joseph asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus’ body and bury it properly. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. (John 19:38)

Permission was granted and the body was taken down. Joseph, helped by Nicodemus, wrapped the body in cloth with the addition of myrrh and aloes. They buried Jesus in an unused tomb that Joseph may have intended for himself, where it was protected by a heavy stone rolled against the opening.

Application: How secret disciple who transitioned to a bolder follower than other disciples of Jesus after the death of Jesus. Boldness of Joseph of Arimathea to go to Pilate, and commitment, the Bible says he begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

Sacrificial acts of bringing down the body of Jesus: proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. Matthew wrote “Pilate commanded the body to be delivered,” Matthew 27:58. Mark wrote that Joseph of Arimathea “took him down,” Mark 15:46. Luke wrote that Joseph of Arimathea “took it down,” Luke 23:53. John wrote only that Joseph of Arimathea “took the body of Jesus,” John 19:38. Just before sabbath what a great act.

Act that will cost his life, and position and even risk his family, Jews, and Romans will target Joseph the next. There, according to John 19:39-40, Joseph and Nicodemus took the body and bound it in linen cloths with the spices that Nicodemus had bought. Joseph immediately purchased a linen shroud (Mark 15:46). Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury John 19:40. The Gospel of Matthew suggests that this was Joseph’s own tomb (Matthew 27:60).

Decision: Lord Jesus, I want to follow you whole heartedly, fully committed. And serve Jesus even if it costs my reputation, position, or even my life itself. Lord Jesus, help me to be faithful and blameless.

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