Joseph of Arimathea

Referenced in the Bible:

Matthew 27:57

Mark 15:43

Luke 23:51

John 19:38

Key Verse: 

John 19:38-42
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (NIV)1)Sources: newadvent.org and The New Compact Bible Dictionary, edited by T. Alton Bryant.


1.0 Introduction:2)http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Joseph-Of-Arimathea.htm  (By Jack Zavada).

Joseph of Arimathea, Donor of Jesus’ Tomb

Following Jesus Christ has always been dangerous, but it was especially so for Joseph of Arimathea. He was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, the court which condemned Jesus to death. Joseph risked his reputation and his life by standing up for Jesus, but his faith far outweighed his fear.


Accomplishments:

Matthew calls Joseph of Arimathea a “rich” man, although there is no indication in Scripture what he did for a living. Unsubstantiated legend has it that Joseph was a dealer in metal goods.

To make sure Jesus received a proper burial, Joseph of Arimathea boldly asked Pontius Pilate for custody of Jesus’ body. Not only did this devout Jew risk ritual uncleanness by entering the quarters of a pagan, but with Nicodemus, another Sanhedrin member, he further contaminated himself under Mosaic law, by touching a corpse.

Joseph of Arimathea donated his new tomb for Jesus to be buried in. This fulfilled the prophecy in Isaiah 53:9: He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.(NIV)


Strengths:

Joseph believed in Jesus, despite pressures from his colleagues and the Roman rulers. He boldly stood up for his faith, trusting the consequences to God.

Luke calls Joseph of Arimathea a “good and upright man.

Life Lessons:

Sometimes our faith in Jesus Christ carries a high price. No doubt Joseph was shunned by his peers for caring for Jesus’ body, but he followed his belief anyway. Doing the right thing for God may bring suffering in this life, but it carries eternal rewards in the next life.

Hometown:

Joseph came from a Judean town called Arimathea. Scholars are divided on the location of Arimathea, but some place it at Ramathaim-zophim in the hilly region of Ephraim, where Samuel the prophet was born.


2.0 Who was Joseph of Arimathea?3)http://www.gotquestions.org/Joseph-of-Arimathea.html

Joseph of Arimathea was a biblical figure who played an important role in the burial of Jesus Christ. His account can be found in each of the four Gospels: Matthew 27:57–60; Mark 15:42–46; Luke 23:50–53; and John 19:38–42. He is called “Joseph of Arimathea” because “he came from the Judean town of Arimathea” (Luke 23:51) and to distinguish him from other Josephs in the Bible.

While there is not much information in the Bible about Joseph of Arimathea, there are certain things we can glean from the text. In Luke 23:50, we learn that Joseph was actually a part of the Council, or Sanhedrin—the group of Jewish religious leaders who called for Jesus’ crucifixion. However, as we read on to verse 51, we see that Joseph was opposed to the Council’s decision and was in fact a secret follower of Jesus (see also Mark 15:43). Joseph was a wealthy man (Matthew 27:57), although the source of his wealth is unknown. In addition, the Bible refers to Joseph as a “good and upright man” (Luke 23:50).

After Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph, at great risk to himself and his reputation, went to the Roman governor Pilate to request Jesus’ body. Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had visited Jesus at night to ask questions about God’s Kingdom (John 19:39; cf. John 3), accompanied Joseph. The two men were granted custody of Jesus’ body, and they immediately began to prepare the body for burial. Following Jewish custom, they wrapped the body in strips of linen and mixed in myrrh and aloe. However, it was the Day of Preparation—the sixth day of the week, just before the Jewish Sabbath—and it was late in the day. So Joseph and Nicodemus hurriedly placed Jesus in Joseph’s own tomb, located in a garden near the place of Jesus’ crucifixion.

Unbeknownst to Joseph and Nicodemus, their choice to put Jesus in Joseph’s tomb fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy spoken hundreds of years before Jesus’ death: “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:9, emphasis added). This is one of the many prophecies that have confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and Son of God.

The day after Jesus’ burial, the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate to request that the stone Joseph had placed in front of the tomb be sealed, and a guard posted, for three days. They cited Jesus’ assertion that He would rise after three days and claimed the disciples might attempt to steal the body in order to fabricate a resurrection (Matthew 27:63–64). Their precautions were for naught, as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, just as He had predicted (Matthew 28).

Many spurious stories and legends have arisen regarding Joseph. Some purport that Joseph of Arimathea was the uncle of Jesus’ mother, Mary. However, the Bible makes no such connection, so the claim is unsubstantiated. In addition, Joseph supposedly made many trips to Britain for trade and is said to have eventually brought the gospel to that country. Again, though, the Bible is silent about Joseph after Jesus’ burial, so we cannot know for sure what path he took later in life. What we do know is what we find in the Scriptures: Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and part of the Sanhedrin, and he procured Jesus’ body and laid it in his own tomb—from which Jesus would rise again in power three days later.


3.0 Orthodox wiki:4)https://orthodoxwiki.org/Joseph_of_Arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea

The holy and righteous Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy member of the Jewish Sanhedrin and a secret follower of Christ (Matt. 27:25; John 19:38). His feast day is July 31. He is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers—the second Sunday after Pascha.

Along with St. Nicodemus, St. Joseph removed Christ’s body from the Cross, prepared it for burial, and placed it in his own sepulchre. Jewish spies found out about this and told their authorities, who imprisoned St. Joseph. However, the resurrected Christ appeared to St. Joseph in prison and convinced him of his Resurrection. Some time later the Jews released St. Joseph from prison and banished him from Jerusalem. He then traveled throughout the whole world preaching the Gospel, eventually sowing the seeds of salvation in Britain, where he reposed peacefully in the Lord.


4.0 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:5)C. M. Kerr http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/joseph-of-arimathaea.html

Joseph of Arimathea

(A Arimathaias; for etymology, etc., of Joseph, see general article on JOSEPH):

Joseph of Arimathea–a place the locality of which is doubtful, but lying probably to the Northwest of Jerusalem–was a “rich man” (Matthew 27:57), “a councilor of honorable estate,” or member of the Sanhedrin (Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50), “a good and righteous man …. who was looking for the kingdom of God” (Luke 23:50;Mark 15:43), and “himself was Jesus’ disciple” (Matthew 27:57; John 19:38).

Although he kept his discipleship secret “for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38), he was yet faithful to his allegiance in that he absented himself from the meeting which found Jesus guilty of death (compare Luke 23:51; Mark 14:64).

But the condemnation of his Lord awakened the courage and revealed the true faith of Joseph. On the evening after the crucifixion he went “boldly” to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. There is a fine touch in that he himself took down the body from the cross.

With the assistance of Nicodemus he wound it in fine linen with spices (compare Matthew 27:57, Joseph was a “rich man”) and brought it to the new sepulcher in the garden near the place of His crucifixion.

There they “laid him in a tomb that was hewn in stone, where never man had yet lain” and `rolled a stone against the door of the tomb’ (compare Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42). In this was held to be the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9.

The Gospel of Peter, written probably in Syria about the middle of the 2nd century, gives a slightly different account. According to this Joseph, “the friend of Pilate and the Lord,” was present at the trial of Jesus, and immediately upon its conclusion besought of Pilate that he might have the body for burial.

This was granted, and after the crucifixion the Jews handed the body over to Joseph (compare Hennecke, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen, 27-30). Legends of a later origin record that Joseph was sent by Philip from Gaul to Britain along with 11 other disciples in 63 AD, and built an oratory at Glastonbury (compare PHILIP, the Apostle), that he brought the Holy Grail to England, and that he freed Ireland from snakes.


genealogy-150-150

Unknown.


SOURCES

1.0) Source: http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Joseph-Of-Arimathea.htm

2.0) Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/Joseph-of-Arimathea.html

3.0) Source: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Joseph_of_Arimathea

4.0) Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/joseph-of-arimathaea.html

5.0) Source: bibleresources.americanbible.org | Tittle: “A Guide to Key Events, Characters and Themes of the Bible”


Related: Biblical Overviews List of Key Old Testament Characters

References   [ + ]

1. Sources: newadvent.org and The New Compact Bible Dictionary, edited by T. Alton Bryant.
2. http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Joseph-Of-Arimathea.htm  (By Jack Zavada).
3. http://www.gotquestions.org/Joseph-of-Arimathea.html
4. https://orthodoxwiki.org/Joseph_of_Arimathea
5. C. M. Kerr http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/joseph-of-arimathaea.html

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