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“WHY?” No doubt this was the questions Jesus’ disciples asked when He was arrested, tried, and crucified. And it was probably the question Joseph of Arimathea asked himself as he approached Pilate and requested the Lord’s body (v.58). It must have nagged at him as he wrapped the body in a linen cloth, carried it to his own freshly hewn tomb, and rolled the massive stone into its groove over the tomb’s mouth. In the face of his grief, Joseph carried on. He did what he knew he had to do. None of Jesus’ relatives were in a position to claim His body for burial, for they were all Galileans and none of them possessed a tomb in Jerusalem. The disciples weren’t around to help either.But there was another reason for Joseph’s act of love. In Isaiah 53:9, God directed the prophet to record an important detail about the death of His Messiah. The One who had no place to lay His head would be buried in a rich man’s tomb. Joseph probably didn’t realize that his act fulfilled prophecy. The full answer to the why of Jesus’ death was also several days away for Joseph and the others. All he knew was that he was now a disciple of Jesus — and that was enough to motivate his gift of love.

Source: Today in the Word, April 18, 1992


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