Pietro Perugino [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Everything to Me by Avalon

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.  Matthew 27:57-60

Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  Mark 15:42-46

“Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.”  Luke 23:50-53

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.  John 19:38-42

A tale of two Joseph’s:  Two very different bookends to the life of Christ.   A man named Joseph welcomed Jesus into the world.  Another man named Joseph prepared His body after Jesus departed the world.   The first Joseph was poor.  This Joseph rich.  The first Joseph wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes and laid Jesus in a manger, the last Joseph wrapped His Savior in a clean linen shroud and laid him in his very own, never before used tomb.   The Joseph of Jesus’ youth was a carpenter, carving wood.  Joseph of the town of Arimathea, was a follower of Jesus and had a tomb carved out of the rock.  Mary’s Joseph served as a father to Jesus.  Joseph of Arimathea served as a disciple, benefactor, and friend.  Joseph of Nazareth protected Jesus from death and provided for his early years and Joseph from Arimathea was unable to protect Jesus from death but provided a respectable  burial.

Joseph of Arimathea, as a member of the Sanhedrin, was now in a precarious position.  Somehow, he summoned the courage to approach Pilate and request the body of Jesus for burial.  This was granted and he took Jesus body and out of his own wealth, he purchased the burial linen and placed Him in the tomb purchased for his own resting place, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.  (Isaiah 53:9)  Joseph and fellow Sanhedrin member, Nicodemus, completed the task of preparing the body of Jesus for burial as best they could as nightfall quickly approached and then Joseph sealed the tomb.  Silence now follows a day of unbelievable chaos and confusion.  All will be silent until……………….

All four gospel authors took note of the service of Joseph of Arimathea.  He was well known to them.  Had Joseph stood and watched the Lamb of God take away the sins of the world and because he was “looking for the kingdom of God,”  Did he understand he witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy?  I wonder if Joseph is aware the curtain in the Temple has been ripped in two and now the Holy of Holies is open to all?  Can you sense how this rich, wise, and religious man’s mind is spinning like a top?  Did Joseph and Nicodemus utter a word as they walked away from the garden tomb?

As awful as this day was for Christ, as He felt the hate, he looked across the faces and He knew He was loved his entire earthly life.  He knew He had accomplished all the Father had given Him to do.   Not one word He was suppose to say went unsaid.   Courage had risen from deep within, not only in Christ Jesus, but the women, Joseph and Nicodemus, a man named Simon, John the beloved disciple, and even a thief.   As His body lay on the cold slab of granite, The King of Kings was completing His mission.  He was facing the enemy of God and as He held out His nail-pierced hand, the enemy accepted defeat and relinquished the keys of hell and death!   His disciples had run away, this is true.  Jesus told them they would.  He was not caught by surprise.  He knew they would return, find forgiveness, and never again be fearful.  The rest of their lives would be characterized by great boldness, incredible courage, and the faith to move mountains.

Two bookends named Joseph play a vital role in the life of Christ and assisting Mary in the care of the Son of God.  A picture of the humanity Christ came to save: rich and poor, learned and simple, blue collar and white collar, fearful and courageous, family and friend.”  Perfect love had been perfectly provided for by His Father from first to final breath.

Perfect Love by Darlene Zschech

Treading in Love,

Yvonne Jones

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About Yvonne Jones

I am at heart, a LIFEguard: "big" sister, mama, grandmother, aunt, friend, swimming coach, lifeguard trainer, and registered nurse. I am in the business of alleviating fear through education and lots of hand holding. As a swimming instructor, I have taught people of all ages to overcome fear of the water and I marvel as fear gives way to fearlessness, as panic turns to pure joy, as tears dissolve into giggles of glee, and pennies retrieved from the bottom of the abyss become trophies. As a nurse, I have been privileged to walk up to Heaven's gate as patients and family are welcomed home, witnessed the miracle of birth, helped mend broken hearts, and cared for the elderly as they wait.Scriptures number one admonition is "fear not." Question is HOW??? The Word becomes our swimming instructor and can help us learn to "tread water til Jesus comes." Something my students often thought I was going to make them do!So welcome to my pool! Jump in the cool water. Let it refresh your soul and feel the unseen hands of the Master Lifeguard lift you up and out of the deep water. Who knows, you just might even walk on water!

2 thoughts on “Bookends

  1. Beth Brown

    Never really thought of the courage it took for Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus. I love the contrast of Joseph swaddling baby Jesus and the other Joseph wrapping Jesus in burial linen.
    Thank you for making the stories so personal ! God bless you and your previous family!


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