28
Mar
13

Profiles from the Resurrection: Joseph of Arimathaea

The four gospels each mention the name of Joseph of Arimathaea once.  The scriptures testify that he was a man of wealth, a man of honor and a man who was a disciple of Christ.  While the Holy Scriptures mention that he was a follower of Christ, they also reveal that he was a secretive follower because of his “fear of the Jews.”  However, a bold step is taken by Joseph in his acts to secure the body of Jesus, and in his possible plan for His body.

 

As Joseph of Arimathaea was a rich man, he would obviously be one who made wise decisions and investments with his money.  The Bible tells us that He had a “new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock” (Matthew 27:60).  Evidently, Joseph had made a purchase of this land to dig out a tomb, doing the work himself.  Doing this work himself was certainly a rigorous task!

 

One must wonder, however, if a piece of land near the place where the blood of murderers, thieves and other such thugs was spilled in punishment would be a wise investment.  And why would he choose to buy land for a tomb when he seems to be a healthy man, as evidenced by the scriptures telling us he had hewn it out in the rock, not to mention embalming and carrying Jesus’ body from the cross to this tomb with the help of Nicodemus?  When you take in this evidence, it is difficult to understand why Joseph would have taken such actions.

 

Perhaps Joseph had heard the accounts of a Savior who would be of the “house and lineage of David” and would make the blind to see and the lame to walk “according to the scripture.”  Maybe he heard of, or even witnessed, Jesus’ baptism or His casting demons out of people.  He might have even considered the times when Jesus raised the dead back to life.  Perhaps he took in all this evidence and came to the conclusion that Jesus the Christ was indeed the Son of Almighty God.  And Joseph’s faith was exhibited outwardly by buying a piece of property and making a grave out of it so that the broken and blood-drained body of the Anointed One could be buried there for a few hours.

 

This action is certainly an example of how our faith should be lived out.  It should be put on display for the entire world to see, and not hidden in a bush.  Jesus, Himself, said that “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).  If we possess so great a salvation, how shall we escape the rebuking of God if we neglect to share it (Hebrews 2:3)?

 

Let us resurrect our faith from the dead this Easter season, and determine that we will share it out loud for all to see.

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