Joseph of Arimathea, A Good Man–Luke 23:50-51

Joseph of Arimathea was a man who became noteworthy in the Bible for the role that he took in the burial of the body of the Lord Jesus, so much so that he is mentioned in the four Gospels. Joseph, we are informed in these passages, was a rich man, a good and just man that also awaited the kingdom of God. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and had become a disciple of Jesus, but not openly for fear of the Jews. We are informed that he had not consented in the counsel and in the actions of the Sanhedrin regarding Jesus but, if he ever did express his opposition, it had no effect.

Jesus having been crucified, after His death His body (as that of all who were crucified) was destined to be buried in a common grave. The Messiah’s crucifixion had taken place on “Preparation Day”, preceding the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, in which all work was prohibited. The Jews would not admit anyone to remain on the cross on that Sabbath of the Feast (John 19:31).

Twilight was approaching, and it was then that Joseph of Arimathea, taking courage, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, showing openly his love for that Man. We can imagine the surprise of Pilate, and the insult to the Sanhedrin when this illustrious member of their brotherhood openly took the side of Christ who they had despised, insulted and crucified.

Joseph bought a cloth of fine linen, and went over to the cross, accompanied by Nicodemus. With Nicodemus, they removed the body from the cross and, wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices and placed the body in the tomb. Only Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph and James, called “the other Mary” by Matthew, is recorded as witnessing the burial. After depositing the body of Jesus in the tomb, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus rolled a great stone against the door of the tomb and left.  (David Jones)


Question: What prophecy was fulfilled when Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and laid the body in his own tomb?

Answer: In Isaiah 53:9, the prophet Isaiah wrote about a sinless servant (the Messiah) being put to death with the wicked and buried with the rich. This was among the many details that Isaiah prophesied about in regards to the Messiah. About 700 years after Isaiah recorded this prophecy, Jesus was put to death along with two criminals and was buried in a tomb owned by a wealthy man, Joseph of Arimathea, as explained in Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50:56 and John 19:38-42. Jesus was resurrected three days later.