Jesus was far from home during the crucifixion. As a result, his family did not have a tomb, or any other family’s member’s tomb they could use…In comes Joseph.
Who is Joseph?
Wealthy man – shown in the size of the tomb. A possible reference to Isaiah 53:9, prophesying Jesus would be “rich in his death”
Member of Sanhedrin – lawgivers/judges – the group of men that pushed for Jesus’ death
Jesus’ Disciple – A follower of Jesus, secret follower…until now!
Good Man – He didn’t agree with the death of Jesus. Recorded in Luke 23:51 & John 19:38.
What did he do?
Went to Pilate – That took some guts. But it also took some clout, but Joseph of Arimathea had it, in his Sanhedrin position.
Ven. Bede said this – “It was divinely appointed that Joseph should be rich, in order to have access to Pilate, for no mean man could have access to the governor; and that he should be a just man, in order to receive the body of our Lord”
Took the body – Took the body off the cross and carried it off the hill, most likely with the help of Nicodemus. A Jew, willing to defile himself – willing to do so for His Savior.
Wrapped the body – He and Nicodemus spared no expense in wrapping Jesus’ body w 75 lbs. of spices.
Laid body in the Tomb–Laid Jesus’ body in the tomb – Joseph cut with his OWN hands.
Rolled the stone – Gospels just say he rolled the stone in front of the tomb. Maybe he and Nicodemus were power lifting partners during lunch breaks? Maybe they used a fulcrum system? Maybe they dug a trench and rolled the stone down the hill.
Why did he do ALL that?
Here’s the point. He didn’t have to. He did all this because he was willing to boldly put his faith into action.
Listen this man risked EVERYTHING: His status, his wealth, his job, his life…to bury the Savior. Now that’s BOLD.
Why? Well, it almost goes without saying that good men weren’t hung on a cross. That was reserved for the worst criminals of society. So, normal practice was to leave the crucified bodies on the cross to be eaten by the birds, the cut down and thrown into a makeshift grave by the side of the hill.
Listen, Jesus didn’t deserve the whip, the thorns, the nails…
You want to know WHY I want to shake Joseph’s hand…Because my Savior certainly doesn’t deserve for his dead body to be eaten by birds, put into a wheelbarrow and dumped on the side of a hill.
So thank you Joseph. Jesus had suffered enough humiliation because of my sin. Thank you for stepping up and giving my Jesus a proper burial. Thank you for your boldness.
[Entire Sermon can be heard/watched here – click on special messages – 9/17/2017 link]