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Lesson # John 19:38
Study Material - John 19:38
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John 19:38 38 And [de] after [meta] this [tauta] Joseph [Ioseph] of [apo] Arimathaea [Arimathaia] , being [on] a disciple [mathetes] of Jesus [Iesous] , but [de] secretly [krupto] for [dia] fear [phobos] of the Jews [Ioudaios] , besought [erotao] Pilate [Pilatos] that [hina] he might take away [airo] the body [soma] of Jesus [Iesous] : and [kai] Pilate [Pilatos] gave him leave [epitrepo] . He came [erchomai] therefore [oun] , and [kai] took [airo] the body [soma] of Jesus [Iesous] . KJV-Interlinear 38 And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body. NASB
57 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. NASB
42 And when evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. NASB
50 And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; 52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. NASB
Jesus has been abandoned by virtually everyone. Yet there were still prophecies to be fulfilled, regarding His burial. The typical Roman custom after an execution, was to take the bodies of the condemned and then toss them into a common grave as one would toss out trash. The condemned were considered to be not much more than trash anyway. The chief priests wished this result for Jesus in order to lose all record of His remains. In their mind this would solve their problem forever.
But there is a little trick which God played on them, these religious men were trapped by their own regulations. It was the Passover and the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They couldn't be defiled with anything unclean. A dead body was an unclean thing. Neither could they step into a building which would defile them. You recall that they waited outside when they first went to Pilate to gain his sentence of death for Jesus.
So, they could not handle the body themselves. Someone else would have to do that and the chief priests would naturally think that the Romans soldiers would get rid of the bodies. Thus the first part of the prophecy concerning this intention for Jesus' body was fulfilled.
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. NASB
That is to say, that He was assigned (by those wicked ones) to be buried with the dead.
But not so. Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man. He had a burial plot already dug out of the rock for himself and it was obviously in Jerusalem or very near the place of the Cross. Arimathea isn't really identified as to where it was located by archeologists, but here we are told that it was a Jewish place. Therefore, it was probably in Judea and near Jerusalem.
Joseph was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, who would not go along with the action taken against Jesus. He was a believer in Jesus Christ, but he kept that secret. He probably traveled to hear Jesus speak and most likely saw many of the miracles Jesus performed.
Joseph paved the way for several prophecies to be fulfilled. Jesus was to be placed in the tomb of a rich man. He was not to see decay nor ruin of any kind. If He had been thrown in a common grave with criminals, then his body would not have been preserved what with animals, tomb robbers and such.
Jesus would be placed in a tomb which would have a stone rolled across its entrance. Likewise, He was to be buried for three days and three nights, and then arise after that time frame was completed.
40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. NASB
Joseph broke several rules of Judaism. He handled a dead thing. He went to the home of Pilate and went inside to request permission to take and bury the body. He was probably ready to throw out all of the religious rules because of the violence of the trials, the crucifixion, and the miracles following it all. He was secretly a believer, but now has reached deep inside himself and found the courage, despite possible ostracism, to do that which he knew was the right thing to do.
Whether he knew of the scriptures he was fulfilling is not clear, but there is no mention that he did this for that purpose. This implies that his actions were purely of an emotional nature from within himself, and totally without regard to the scriptures.
Joseph was a member of the single most powerful Jewish organization in Judea, the Sanhedrin. He risked his reputation and his continued membership and relationship with the other members by doing this. He violated their sacred rules concerning defilement. Though you and I know that such rules are worthless doggie doodoo, still within his mind and within the thinking of the time, these things were very important and powerful pressure points in that society.
But he thumbed his nose at it all and made his decision to do the right thing. Often times we too are faced with doing the right thing, and the pressures of our current society, or of our current life prevents us from doing what we know is the right thing. This is what separates the child in us from the adult. Do we pursue our life style because it is more convenient, or because we are just more comfortable in it, or do we make a change in our life (based on Bible doctrine) and do that which we know is right? That is one for the mirror counselor! You know the one where you look in the mirror and see your true self, and have your little heart to heart talk with yourself.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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