Friday, April 6, 2012

Joseph of Arimathea

I want to be like Joseph of Arimathea.

“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 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.” Luke 23:50-53 NIV

Joseph of Arimathea. Loyal to Christ in being a dissenter to the decision to crucify Him. A man who looked forward to the kingdom of God, Jesus’ reign. A risk taker, as seeking Jesus’ body could further polarize him from the other members of the Council, make it clear where he stood on the issue of Jesus, the problem of Jesus. A man who loved Jesus enough to tend to His body, respectfully, a true act of worship.

Good Friday brings good reason to reflect on this example of worship and love. John 19:38 shows us Joseph indeed feared the Jewish leaders, and certainly requested Christ’s body at risk, because of his fear of the other Jewish leaders. He went secretly to Pilate to make the request. Matthew 27:57 shows us, he was a wealthy man, but Joseph humbled himself and asked for something apparently more important to him than position.

Looking at this man’s actions, and heart, as revealed in the Bible, I thought about what a faithful follower he was. I wondered why the phrase faithful followers came to my mind, so I looked it up on I learned that I’ve not only heard it before, but also I’ve certainly read it before.

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.  Rev. 17:14 NIV

Joseph of Arimathea will be with Jesus Christ in triumph, along with all of us who are “His called, chosen and faithful followers.” What a moment of honor and victory that will be.

On Good Friday, I reflect on the danger following Christ held for Joseph of Arimathea, and others. I reflect on the sadness, and my responsibility for Christ’s death.

I know a day lies ahead when Christ vanquishes Satan. For now, I want to nurture examples, ancient and modern, like Joseph of Arimathea. And I look ahead to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, Easter. 

©2012 Helene Bergren All Rights Reserved.

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