That evening a rich man named Joseph came to Jerusalem. Joseph was a follower of Jesus from the town of Arimathea. Joseph went to Pilate and asked to have Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for the soldiers to give Jesus' body to Joseph. Then Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a new linen cloth. Joseph put Jesus' body in a new tomb (grave) that Joseph had dug in a wall of rock. Then he closed the tomb by rolling a very large stone to cover the entrance. After he did these things, Joseph went away. Mary Magdalene and the other woman named Mary were sitting near the tomb.
— Matthew 27:57-61 NLT
This camel found a way! Or better yet, God found a way for this camel to get through the eye of a needle!
We normally don't think of many of the followers of Jesus as rich. There surely weren't many who were rich; at least they weren't openly his followers. But a few were. What is amazing here is that Joseph picks the absolutely worst time to show his allegiance to Jesus! Joseph is identifying himself with one who was now viewed as the scum of the earth, a man apparentley cursed by God, a supposed criminal executed by Rome, and a Jew condemned to death by the religious ruling counsel and the High Priest. There is nothing to gain by his identifying himself with Jesus, at least nothing apparent. But that didn't stop Joseph! He was a follower, and he was willing to follow Jesus all the way through the cross. He was willing to become unclean for Passover by handling the dead body of Jesus. Joseph did for Jesus what was decent, loving, tender, and right. And he did it when there appeared to be nothing to gain in doing so.
I don't know about you, but I want to be like Joseph. While there is so much talk about the Apostles—their power and their authority—Joseph does what none of them did, and what none of them could. I'd surely like to do the same!
O Precious God, Mighty Father, and Faithful Lord, thank you for examples of faith that not everyone holds up as heroes. They become for us discoveries of joy in the middle of history's greatest story. Father, I really want to be like Joseph. I want to be faithful when no one else is. I want to be useful when no one else can be. I want to be tender when it is needed most. Through your Spirit, please make me a follower for all seasons. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 19:38-42
- Luke 9:23-26
- Revelation 2:10
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.