Joseph of Arimathea
Charles H. Spurgeon
It was a very dark day with the church of God and with the cause of Christ, for the Lord Jesus was dead, and so the sun of their souls had set. "All the disciples forsook him, and fled" (Matt. 26:56). "Ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone" (John 16:32), were the sad words of Jesus, and they had come true. He was dead upon the cross, and His enemies hoped that there was an end of Him, while His friends feared that it was even so. A few women who had remained about the cross, true to the very last, were found faithful to death. But what could they do to obtain His sacred body and give it honorable burial? That priceless flesh seemed to be in danger of the fate that usually awaited the bodies of malefactors. At any rate, the fear was that it might be hurled into the first grave that could be found to shelter it.
At that perilous moment Joseph of Arimathea, a city of the Jews, of whom we never heard before and of whom we never hear again, suddenly made his appearance. He was the very man needed for the occasion, a man of influence. He was a man possessing that kind of influence that was most potent with Pilate-a rich man, a counselor, a member of the Sanhedrim, a person of weight and character. Every evangelist mentions him and tells us something about him. From these we learn that he was a disciple, "a good man and a just; . . . who also himself waited for the kingdom of God." Joseph had been retiring and, probably, cowardly before. But now he came to the cross and saw how matters stood and then went in boldly to Pilate, craved the body of Jesus, and obtained it.
Let us learn from this that God will always have His witnesses. It matters not though the ministry should forsake the truth, though they that should be leaders should become recreant, the truth of God will not fail for lack of friends. It may be with the church as when a standard-bearer faints and the host is rea ...
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