The death of Jesus occurs on Calvary and his body must be taken care of on the eve of the Sabbath. According to Jewish custom, nothing could be carried out on the Sabbath Day. If Jesus’ body had not been prepared and laid in a tomb, it would have been left unprotected all Sabbath Day, as was the custom of the Jews in that time. But, the Spirit moved Joseph of Arimethea, who rose to the occasion.
We read in the Bible that after the death of Jesus:
“When evening had come, it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath. Joseph of Arimethea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly before Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Pilate wondered if he were already dead and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Joseph brought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth. He laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.” Mark 15:42-47
After the death of Jesus…
A secret disciple of Jesus, Joseph of Arimethea, wraps and lays Jesus’ body, then places it in a nearby tomb. The implied message remains that the tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimethea, so he laid Jesus there. According to John 19, Nicodemus brings myrrh and aloe for Jesus‘ burial, while Joseph assists in the wrapping of Jesus’ body in linen, along with the spices. He, then rolls a stone across the entrance in observation of the Sabbath, while Mary Magdalene and Mary, are perhaps, helping the men.
Joseph’s actions ensured that Jesus’ body was cared for before the Sabbath.
God provided help through a stranger.
Sometimes, the Lord provides this way. He provided help through Joseph that Good Friday, although many did not know he was a Believer. Joseph approached Pilate through his affluence and influence after the death of Jesus. They ensure that He is dead, to quell the rumors about the disciples carrying away the body.
I suspect, that if the disciples had come before Pilate, they would have gotten no where. But, Joseph, who was a member of the council, had greater authority. All Pilate and his officials saw was a benevolent man, called on to bury Jesus properly before the Sabbath.
So the Lord’s needs were met, even in death and burial, because God had a larger purpose here. He used Joseph to set the stage for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and gave him favor to get the job done. The death of Jesus was simply the set-up for the resurrection.
God really is in control when we receive salvation
We really think that we have that much control our daily lives sometimes. When we turn our lives over to God, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we realize just how little authority we have over our lives. Joseph’s participation reminds us of how the Lord positions unsuspecting people to step up and carry out His will in a time of need.
How many times do we end up in the emergency room, going in for surgery, facing a new behavior problem, or a general health crisis with our children? It is sudden, requires the gleaning of wisdom and information, as well as quick intervention. We are unsure of where to go, and what to do. We may try to control the whole issue, only to happen upon the solution in a flash, and everything changes.
Sometimes we wait, and other times we receive miraculous assistance. Sometimes, He even positions us to carry out His will. No matter what, God will provide for our needs to carry out His plans for our lives and the life of our family. It will be a huge blessing for your family and those around you, not a burden.
So, take heart, He is watching over you and may send an angel your way to help you.