(Luke 23:50-53 NAU) 50 And 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. 53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.
It was a quiet act. It had to be quiet. He knew the mood and temper of the Council. He knew how they would respond if they knew what he was doing.
But still there was something that had to be done. Though a gross unrighteousness had been done, though the kingdom of God had been attacked, he could do this quiet act. He could do what was righteous and holy and good.
It would at least cost him some money and some time. It could have cost him his reputation, his seat on the council, and his business and then his home. Still, he knew what he had to do and that he could not wait to do it.
The practice was for those killed as criminals to be buried in an unmarked grave, away from those who were members of the Jewish people. And for one who died on a cross, there was no exception.
Joseph of Arimathea knew he could not let that happen. Handing Jesus over to the Romans was a horrible decision that he disagreed with. To bury Him in a grave for thieves when He had worked to usher in the Kingdom of God that Joseph had waited for so long himself, that was something he could change.
So quietly, he went to Pilate, asked for Jesus’ body and placed it in the tomb. According to John’s gospel, his friend Nicodemus helped.
As FLUME, we are called to unite the clergy and laity of the Florida Conference around our biblical, Wesleyan heritage. As Joseph did, we will speak in the “Council” helping the Florida Conference see the kingdom of God come one soul at a time. And we are very blessed and thankful for those who have joined with us in doing so from conference laypersons to speakers at FLUME events to churches and seminaries who have sponsored events. Thank you to all of you who have supported us.
And we will continue to do what is right and holy and loving towards those with whom we agree and those with whom we may disagree. As Joseph honored Jesus, so will we. We will honor Jesus by leading the clergy and laity deeper into relationship with one another through our biblical, Wesleyan heritage. We are thankful for the ministry God has placed before us and for how God continues to lead us deeper in unity with His church.