And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Luke 23:50-52
Joseph of Arimathea is a man we don’t have much history of from scripture. Nothing of his family or his childhood, yet in a few short sentences we learn much about his character.
He was a member of the Council. THE very Council who plotted to put Jesus to death. How it must have been tough to go against their plans. I’m sure their was a measure of pressure and politics involved. There always is. But I can imagine, with Joseph being a good and righteous man, the decision in the end was not tough at all. He knew what was just and right and the harder decision would have been to go against that and live with his conflicted conscience.
But then, his character shines even brighter. Not only could he not condemn a righteous man, he also could not allow him to have an undignified burial. Instead of just walking away from a bad situation he was overruled by, he went a step further and saw it to the end, doing what he could despite the circumstances. Maybe his nonconsent did not keep Jesus from dying like a common thief, but Joseph made sure his burial was one of honor and respect. What an inspiring act of courage and love from someone who was waiting for the kingdom of God.
The God of understanding and compassion, You see my daily struggles to stand for what is right. This world can be cruel and unforgiving when a righteous person stands for justice, but it is the lot of a disciple to stand firm regardless of the pressure. Thank you that Joseph of Arimathea did this. Thank you that he went even further to give my Savior a proper burial in the midst of the evil that caused His crucifixion. Joseph became the light among the darkness. I am inspired by his courage and charity to do what I can to the end, even when it seems evil is prevailing, because what I really know is what Joseph knew too. The kingdom of God, Your kingdom, will ultimately prevail. Please teach me to have the character of Joseph, so that I will take things a step further to serve in Your kingdom. Amen.
Truth in love,