Joseph of Arimethea

Joseph of Arimathea was a native of Arimathea which was northwest of Lydda. He was a wealthy man of great prestige, a member of the Great Sanhedrin and also a "disciple" of Jesus, but for fear of the Jews had always loved the rabbi in silence. Joseph had the courage to disagree with his fellow Sanhedrists when they condemned Jesus to death. Now he dared even more.

Perhaps at the request of Jesus' relatives and friends, Joseph went to Pontius Pilate and requested the body of Jesus for burial as Roman law had allowed. No sooner had His persecutors departed, Joseph of Arimathea pushed his influential claims demanding the dead body of the Nazarene. Joseph offered his own new tomb, which had never been occupied, as the burial place. Pilate heard his request willingly, but was surprised that Jesus had died so soon; so he called the centurion in charge, and when he had confirmed Jesus death, Pilate gave Joseph permission to take the body. This eminent citizen achieved what his lowly disciples could not have accomplished.
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