By Sarah Levesque (Rated G)
Joseph of Arimathea was a man who followed Jesus Christ from a distance. He was a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, the leaders of the Jewish community. Perhaps this accounts for his distance; perhaps he did not want his fellow members of the Sanhedrin to judge him, belittle him, or ignore him. But he found his courage at the death of Jesus; it was Joseph of Arimathea who went to Pontus Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body to be taken down from the Cross, and when he was given permission, Joseph buried Jesus in the new tomb that he, Joseph, had had hewn for himself and his family members. And that is all the Bible tells us about him. But there are various traditions concerning Joseph of Arimathea. One tells that he was friends with both Jesus and Pilate. Another claims that Joseph was imprisoned, but released by the risen Lord. A prominent British tradition holds that Joseph was entrusted with the chalice or goblet used to hold Jesus’ blood at the Last Supper, which he subsequently brought to England, setting the stage for the later quests for the Holy Grail. In any case, the Gospel writers acknowledged him to be a virtuous and pious man, and he is thus revered by all branches of Christianity.
May we, like Joseph of Arimathea, give freely of our possessions to those in need and have courage to do what is right.