Joseph of Arimathia
Joseph of Arimathia
Life is a tapestry of so many incredible, extraordinary moments. There are moments that move us, moments that shape us as people, and moments that change the direction of our lives. We celebrate weddings and mourn at funerals. We rejoice when unexpected opportunities come and comfort each other when disappointments hit.
But what about the moments that aren’t recognized as “life-changing”? There are 52 Mondays in a year. In the U.S., the average commute is 27 minutes. The average time spent in a K-12 classroom over a lifetime is 18,720 hours. These moments may not define us, but they bring us closer to the moments that do.
A man named Joseph of Arimathea learned this when he played a major role in the burial of Jesus. Joseph was a rich man, (Matt. 27:57,) a member of the Council of Sanhedrin, (Mark 15:43,) and a disciple of Jesus, looking for the kingdom of God, (John 19:38, Luke 23:51b). From the outside, Joseph appeared to be an upstanding citizen and a decent human being, but there was nothing special or extraordinary about him. One day he found himself talking with Pilate, asking if he could purchase a tomb and give Jesus a proper burial.
“This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.” (Luke 23:52-53).
What is considered to be an uneventful portion of the narrative of Jesus’ crucifixion was actually a stepping stone to the greatness and impact of the resurrection.
Joseph of Arimathea took an ordinary moment of his life and used it to bury the Son of God. What Joseph did took great courage. Jesus had been mocked, beaten, and given a criminal’s death, convicted by the very same council that Joseph was a member of. Yet despite his fear, (John 19:38,) Joseph saw Jesus for who He is, the Messiah, and went against the decision of the council.
This may not have looked like a monumental event in light of eternity, yet God used this one man in this one moment of history to accentuate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus, by honoring his death. Joseph was an ordinary person living an ordinary life. It’s likely he didn’t fully realize his part in the greatest story ever told, yet when the opportunity to partake in lifelong impact came, Joseph stepped into a role that was destined by God and became part of the narrative.
What are some moments in our lives that are overlooked? How are we using our uneventful time to impact the Kingdom of God? Everyday moments may just turn into opportunities for eternal greatness, if only we find the courage, like Joseph, to take it.
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