And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death. Isaiah 53:9
The body of Jesus was never dumped in Gehenna. Isaiah says, “they made his grave… with a rich man in his death.” Isaiah must have wondered, “How did this rich man get into the story?” The New Testament gives us the answer. After all the dishonor of the crucifixion, Jesus was given an honored burial. “There came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph” (Matt. 27:57).
Joseph was “a good and righteous man” (Luke 23:50), who was “looking for the kingdom of God” (Mark 15:43). The Jewish community was governed by the Sanhedrin, a council of seventy members, and Joseph was “a respected member of the council” (Mark 15:43). Unlike other members, Joseph “had not consented to their decision and action” in condemning Jesus to death (Luke 23:51). Furthermore, Joseph was “a disciple of Jesus, but secretly” (John 19:38).
Then Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And Pilate, who must have been troubled by what he had done in handing over an innocent man, was glad to agree with Joseph’s request.
Joseph took the body of Jesus down from the cross. And “Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes… So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices” (John 19:39-40). With the help of Nicodemus, Joseph laid the body of Jesus in his own tomb, “which he had cut in the rock” (Matt. 27:60). Presumably, Joseph had intended that this would be his own resting place.
Joseph’s tomb was in a garden (John 19:41). It was a beautiful spot, a place suitable for the burial of a king. Joseph gave what he had intended for himself to Jesus. In a world that despised and rejected Jesus, there was a rich man who esteemed and honored Him.
Are you surprised by what Joseph did? Why or why not?