Joseph Of Arimathaea | The Institute for Creation Research
Joseph Of Arimathaea

“Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus” (Mark 15:43).

The unique service of Joseph, in giving Jesus an honorable burial after His execution as a criminal, is noted in all four gospels. He was a disciple of Jesus, as well as a rich man (Matthew 27:57). Although his home was in Arimathaea, he buried Jesus “in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock” (Matthew 27:60) on the side of Mount Calvary just outside Jerusalem—evidently built specifically for Jesus. Joseph “was a good man and a just” man—a member of the Sanhedrin, who “had not consented to the counsel and deed of them” as they condemned Jesus to die (Luke 23:50,51).

These actions of Joseph soon would cost him his riches and his position. The same was true of his colleague on the council, Nicodemus, who had also become a disciple of Jesus, and who worked together with Joseph to plan the burial of their Lord, “secretly for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38). Once Christ had died, Joseph went to Pilate to request the body—so quickly that “Pilate marveled if He were already dead” (v.44). After checking this, “he gave the body to Joseph” (v.45), and the two friends proceeded to prepare it for burial.

Nicodemus “brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight” (John 19:39), evidently from a cache in the tomb, and they wound Jesus’ body in linen clothes with the spices and quickly buried Him, before sundown.

This loving ministry was performed to fulfill an ancient prophecy: “He made His grave . . . with the rich in His death” (Isaiah 53:9). Somehow Joseph and Nicodemus realized that God had called them to play this particular role in its fulfillment, enabling Jesus’ body to rest in dignity until that morning when “He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand” (v.10). HMM

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