Read Luke 23:50-56.
Devotion by: Caleb DeVries
Jesus Laid in Tomb
Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man who sat on the Sanhedrin, which was the council of religious leaders that called for Jesus to be crucified. Joseph was a follower of Jesus and didn't agree with the council's decision. John 19:38 calls Joseph a "secret follower of Jesus" because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders. In secret, he took care of Jesus' body and quickly prepared Him for burial before the Sabbath would mandate them to stop working. Without Joseph, there would have been no one to request Jesus’ body. The disciples had fled, John left to take care of Mary as Jesus had asked, And, without someone to ask for the body, custom dictated that the body would remain on the cross to rot or be eaten by animals. By asking Pilate for Jesus' body, he made his faith known, despite the fall-out he might experience from the council of his peers.
Can you imagine the mixed emotions Joseph must have felt? Watching the unfair trials play out as a blameless man was convicted. Watching Jesus be tortured and killed. Washing Jesus' body and wrapping it in cloth. Can you imagine his grief as he literally buried his hope in his own tomb?
Joseph didn't know his faithfulness was important at the time. But without Joseph, the story would be so different. Without the stone sealing Jesus in, there would be doubt about his death and resurrection. The sealed tomb gives us a definite proof that Jesus actually died, and the empty tomb celebrates that Jesus actually rose again.
I am grateful for Joseph because his faithfulness gave hope and faith to hundreds of generations to follow.