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Joseph of Arimathea was the owner of the tomb in which Jesus was laid. He believed in the teachings of Jesus but wasn’t bold enough to declare his belief until the death of Jesus when he boldly asked Pilate for Jesus’ body.
Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. MATTHEW 27:59–60
Perhaps it was something about Jesus’ crucifixion that finally got through to Joseph of Arimathea. Perhaps it was seeing all that his Savior was willing to do for him that made him shake off his fears and boldly ask for the body of Jesus. Whatever it was, Joseph clearly showed his true colors that day as one of Jesus’ followers.
Everything the Bible has to say about Joseph’s background appears in four verses—one in each of the four Gospels (Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51; John 19:38). Joseph was from the Judean town of Arimathea, twenty-one miles northwest of Jerusalem, and he was rich.
Though he was a member of the Council —the Sanhedrin, the ruling assembly of the Jews he did not consent to the crucifixion of Jesus. He was also a good and upright man, a follower of Jesus who was waiting for the kingdom of God.
The only negative thing that we read about Joseph is that he kept his belief in Jesus a secret because he feared the Jews that is, until Jesus died. For whatever reason, that day Joseph was emboldened to ask Governor Pilate for the body of Jesus, and he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, an undeniable public declaration of his regard for Jesus.
Are you living like Joseph of Arimathea regarding your faith in Christ? Are you afraid of what others might think of you or do to you if you openly admit that you are one of His followers? Perhaps taking a long look at all that Jesus has done for us on the cross might give you new boldness to declare to others that you believe in Him.