St. Matthew 27:57

Nov. 18, 2021.

57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

The above verse is the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy of 53:9: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

The Bible tells us quite a bit about Joseph of Arimathea. St. Mark 15:43 states that Joseph was “a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God”. St. Luke 23:50-56 shares that Joseph “had not consented to their decision and action” (that of the council). St. John19:38 informs us that when Joseph heard of Jesus’ death, he asked permission from Pilate to take away the body and Pilate gave him that permission. St. Mark 15:46 states that Joseph immediately bought a linen shroud and went to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. St. John 19:39-40 presents the fact that Joseph and Nicodemus took the body and bound it in linen cloths with the spices that Nicodemus had bought.

Preparing as we are for Advent, I find it fascinating that the man, Joseph, who loved and protected the baby Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ life, is later replaced by the man Joseph, who saw to it that body of Jesus was protected and cared for at his death. The beginning and the earthly end of our Lord were protected by men named Joseph. I looked up the meaning of the name and found this: Joseph is derived from the Latin form of Greek Ioseph, from the Hebrew name Yosef meaning “He will add”, from the root Yasaf. I also remembered that it was a Joseph that helped the Israelites in Egypt during the great famine.

Quite a bit to think about, isn’t it? Perhaps the name Joseph should mean ‘protector’. In any event, I’m grateful for the Josephs; the one that protected the line from which Jesus was born, the one that carried the baby Jesus to Egypt to protect Him, and the one who protected the crucified Jesus.

4 thoughts on “St. Matthew 27:57”

  1. Joseph of Arimathea, as you know Audre, was said to have come to Glastonbury but I think that is a myth. If he did come it would have been in the days before the land surrounding Glastonbury Tor had been drained and before all the settlements which grew into towns and villages were built. I drove across the Somerset Levels as they are called this afternoon with their ancient system of dykes with willows growing along the edges of many of them. An unlovely landscape to my eye, fertile farmland but prone to flooding in winter’s heavy rains.

    Liked by 1 person

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