Joseph of Arimathea – Funeral Director?
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to the Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus. He was apparently a man of wealth, and probably a member of the Sanhedrin. As soon as he heard the news of Jesus’ death, he “went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.” Pilate, reassured by a centurion that the death had really taken place, allowed Joseph’s request. Joseph immediately purchased fine linen and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body down from the cross. There, assisted by Nicodemus, he took the body and wrapped it in the fine linen, sprinkling it with the myrrh and aloes that Nicodemus had brought. The body was then conveyed to a new tomb that had been hewn for Joseph himself out of a rock in his garden nearby. There they laid it, in the presence of Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and other women, and rolled a great stone to the entrance, and departed. This was done speedily, “for the Sabbath was drawing on”.
Fast forward 2,008 years.
Imagine ? you have a deep admiration for a man who is considered an eccentric. Regardless of what people think of him, you like what he says and the way he says it ? you admire his communication skills. There is simplicity in his words and common sense in his wisdom. He is a compelling speaker and there is ?something? about him that makes you hope his handlers are aware of his following and steer him into politics.
? You are the local funeral director. People have come to you for help in the past and you have offered it for a fee, but since hearing the preacher you have been doing some major soul searching. You are seriously considering finding more about him and you wish he would ?get with it and write a book?. Your wife calls Oprah and suggests him as a guest. Oprah ignores the suggestion and carries on with her interviews with the rich and the powerful ? she is not interested in some nut.
? one day you hear that the fellow?s luck has turned and he has been executed in the electric chair. Reporters are not clear about the reasons. You have heard that his mother is a poor widow and your heart goes out to the family in their sorrow. You call the state authorities to offer your services for free and receive the go ahead. Because of your experience as a funeral professional you know exactly what to do and you offer your own reserved plot to the family.
Does any part of the ?Imagine? part of the above story have a personal ring to it? Have you ever offered your service … no charge … for a person or family that you have connected with? Do you think that Joseph of Arimathea had a history in the funeral profession of the day? I personally hope so and if he was a funeral director, I remain proud to be numbered in his ranks.
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