... Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. ... This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Luke 23:50b, 52).
Read Luke 23:50-56.
While the crowd returns to Jerusalem beating their breasts, Jesus' faithful followers stand at a distance, staring in shocked grief. Jesus' body will soon be cast into a common grave along with the two criminals. They stand helpless to stop it, clueless what to do.
Then an amazing sight meets their eyes. One of the prominent rulers of the Jewish high court steps up to the centurion in charge of the crucifixions. He carries orders from Pilate giving him custody of Jesus' body. As the women follow, Joseph removes Him from the cross, wraps His body in a linen shroud with spices, and lays Him in a new tomb.
This Joseph is a prominent member of the Jewish high court, a good and righteous man who had not consented to their plan to condemn and crucify Jesus. Formerly, he had been a secret disciple of Jesus, now he takes courage to openly display his loyalty.
Oh, the tender care of our loving Heavenly Father! At Jesus' birth, God the Father provided a Joseph to wrap His infant body in swaddling bands and lay Him in a manger. In His death God provides another Joseph to wrap His body in linen and lay it to rest in a new tomb.
The women follow behind so they can note where Jesus is laid. Then they return home to prepare spices and ointments to give the body a more proper burial after the Sabbath ends.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for the faithful men and women who came forward at Your crucifixion and death-the repentant criminal, the centurion, Joseph, and the believing women. Give me courage and loyalty to come forward and honor You through the days of my life, until I rest in Your Paradise. Amen.
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