«Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus» (Mark 15:43).
THE DISCIPLES COULD NOT BELIEVE JESUS was really dead. So many times He had revealed to them what would happen, but they had not understood. Now they were before the lifeless body of their Master, and they had a dilemma. In Jesus’s times, if someone died after being accused of treason (as was the case of Jesus), he or she could not receive an honorable burial. However, «even in death, Christ’s body was very precious to His disciples. They longed to give Him an honored burial, but knew not how to accomplish this. Treason against the Roman government was the crime for which Jesus was condemned, and persons put to death for this offense were consigned to a burial ground especially provided for such criminals» (White, The Desire of Ages, ch. 80, p. 773).
What should they do? Where could they go to give Jesus an honorable burial? They did not know, nor were they people of influence.
In this emergency, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus came to the help of the disciples. Both these men were members of the Sanhedrin, and were acquainted with Pilate. Both were men of wealth and influence. They were determined that the body of Jesus should have an honorable burial.
Joseph went boldly to Pilate, and begged from him the body of Jesus. For the first time, Pilate learned that Jesus was really dead. Conflicting reports had reached him in regard to the events attending the crucifixion, but the knowledge of Christ’s death had been purposely kept from him. Pilate had been warned by the priests and rulers against deception by Christ’s disciples in regard to His body. Upon hearing Joseph’s request, he therefore sent for the centurion who had charge at the cross, and learned for a certainty of the death of Jesus. He also drew from him an account of the scenes of Calvary, confirming the testimony of Joseph. The request of Joseph was granted. While John was troubled about the burial of his Master, Joseph returned with Pilate’s order for the body of Christ (ibid.).
Joseph of Arimathaea, with decided courage and daring, with audacity and decisiveness, boldly approached the highest authority possible for what needed to be done. Everything for the love of Jesus Christ. What about you? How far would you go because of love for Him? If you are lacking boldness or courage, ask Him for help.