When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
Food For Thought:
The story of Joseph of Arimathea is a familiar one if you grew up in the church. We are told that this rich man anoints the body of Jesus. To anoint someone was an important in the Jewish tradition ─ it meant to prepare the body for burial. Instead of being afraid, Joseph courageously sought out Jesus’ body and anointed it. Think of something that you would like to do in Christ’s name but haven’t done because of fear. Pray for courage and reach out to someone you would not normally reach out to.
Almighty God, Your name is glorified even in the anguish of your Son’s death. Grant us the courage to receive your anointed servant who embodies a wisdom and love that is foolishness to the world. Empower us to be your witnesses in this world so that all might receive your love and grace. In your holy name we pray, Amen.