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MEMORABLE: Who Was Joseph of Arimathea in the Holy Bible and Why Is He So Important?



Joseph of Arimathea is known in the Holy Bible as the man who removed Jesus’s dead body from the cross of crucifixion, wrapped Christ in a clean linen cloth and placed Him in a new rock-carved tomb where no other body had ever been placed (Luke 23:50-54).


Why Joseph of Arimathea is Important


Joseph of Arimathea played a key role, and his action were crucial in helping to fulfill and verify the prophesy of Jesus arising from the dead on the third day after being crucified.


Entombing the body of Jesus is the only role Joseph of Arimathea plays in the Holy Bible. He went to Pontius Pilate, who was the prelate overseeing Jerusalem under the Roman Empire, and asked to be allowed to take possession of Jesus’s body.


This was such an important role that he is mentioned in all four of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, John and Luke).


Joseph of Arimathea: His Background


Not to be confused with Simon the Cyrene – the man who carried Jesus’s cross on the way to the hill of crucifixion - Joseph of Arimathea was from a town called Arimathea or “the heights” located north of Jerusalem.


This Joseph is described as a rich man, a member of the Jewish High Council, aka the Sanhedrin, that was composed of the elite Jewish religious leadership. Most of the Jewish leaders vehemently opposed Jesus and wanted Him dead (Luke 23:50-56; Mark 11:15-18).


Joseph believed in Jesus and is described as a “disciple,” though not one of the 12 disciples comprising Jesus’s inner circle.


Joseph of Arimathea Proves Not All Jewish Leaders Wanted Jesus Dead


Joseph of Arimathea also serves to show that not all of the elite Jews participated in the crucifixion of Jesus. Nicodemus was also an elite Jewish leader who became a follower of Jesus (John 3).


Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret followers of Jesus because the two men were afraid of being persecuted by the Jewish High Council.


The Holy Bible records many Jews who believed in Jesus, some immediately after hearing His teachings and others later on. Joseph of Arimathea should be remembered for his favorable and important role in helping to bring the gospel of Jesus to fruition.



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