Commemoration: Joseph of Arimathea

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
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After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
John 19:31-38

On this, the commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, we remember “a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God” (Luke 23:50b-51). A faithful disciple of Jesus, and yet who followed him only in secret. Thanks be to God that He uses us for His good and gracious will, despite our cowardice and our faithlessness.

‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

Psalm 118:5-6

Pictures of the interior of the monastery in Dobbertin, Parchim district, Mecklenbrug-Vorpommern, Germany, “Altar of the Crucifixion” by Gaston Lenthe in 1857. Pictures taken by user “Niteshift” on Closeup of the right wing of the altar shows the centurion, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.