“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him” (Matthew 27:57-58, NKJV).
Two things immediately stand out to me in this verse. First of all, Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man who was also a disciple of Christ. Jesus himself said “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). But Joseph was different. He understood that his riches and influence were to be used for God’s purposes.
Joseph of Arimathea used his position and power to provide a place for the Body of Christ. As a member of the prestigious Sanhedrin Court, Joseph was respected in the community. He used his position to gain an audience with Pilate. Only a man of wealth and respect could get the attention of the ruler.
The second lesson that jumps out at me is that Joseph of Arimathea had a mission – to provide a place for the Body of Christ in his city. And he was going to accomplish that purpose … even if he had to beg.
Scripture literally says Joseph “begged” for the Body of Christ. He had a passion for it. Our Lord’s body was torn, and twisted, and tortured, and bloody, but Joseph didn’t care how bad it looked. He didn’t care how torn and ripped the precious Body of Christ was. He begged for it.
I think this is a beautiful analogy for the Body of Christ today. We must use all our influence and power to beg to provide a place for the Body of Christ today. If you look around, you’ll see people who are torn apart, bloody, and battered spiritually. We must have compassion for the lost.
Because of Joseph’s influence and position in society, Pilate gave him Jesus’ body. Without Joseph’s prestige, without his willingness to beg for the Body of Christ, we would not have the resurrection story as it is today.
Joseph of Arimathea used his success as a businessman and a respected member of the community to provide a place for the Body of Christ. That commitment impacted one of the very foundations of our faith – the Resurrection Story. Are you using your influence to make plans for the body of Christ in your community?