Day 46 / Luke 23:50-56
By Jim and Marie Byers
His heart heavy with grief, his feet stumbling over the rough, uneven path from Golgotha
into the city, Joseph yearned for the calm of Arimathea, his home. Jesus, the prophet, and
teacher whom he loved and had followed secretly – yes, fearing the wrath of his fellow Council
members – was dead. It was afternoon of Preparation Day for next day’s Passover
Joseph resolutely turned toward Pilate’s palace where that ruler had given permission to
a Jewish mob to crucify Jesus. Boldly, Joseph asked Pilate’s permission to take Jesus’ body
for burial. Pilate granted the request, perhaps feeling guilt for his part in Jesus’ crucifixion.
Returning to the cross to claim the mangled body of the Lord, Joseph met Nicodemas who was
also a member of the Council but he had believed on Jesus. The two men tenderly anointed
Jesus’ body with myrrh and aloe, wrapped it in linen cloths and placed it in Joseph’s own
tomb where no one had yet been buried.
Previously disciples in secret, Joseph and Nicodemus risked retribution from the
enemies of Jesus as they served the Savior’s final earthly need. Is our pledged faith in
Christ apparent in the way we live?
Photo by Jim Beyers (2008)
Golgotha AKA Skull Hill due to its shape resembling a skull.
Numerous openings in the rocky cliff were ancient grave sites.