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  • Writer's picturePhil



The Joseph from Arimathea presented in the biblical gospels

was a "secret disciple of Jesus” (Matthew 27:57). 

He was a wealthy member of the Sandhedrin,

the Jewish court and council in Jerusalem,

which consisted of seventy religious and political leaders, mostly priests. 

He is described by Luke as a “good and upright man”

who “did not consent to their decision and action” (to kill Jesus). 

Later Joseph obtained Pilate’s permission to remove Jesus’ body from the cross

and place it in a new tomb.


John 19:38 – 39  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. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.


Mark 15:43    Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body


Matthew 27:57-60   As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.


Luke 23:50,51   Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God



Did they sit huddled behind locked doors for fear of recrimination?

Did they weep and mourn as they re-lived the last agonising moments of Jesus’ life?

Did they give voice to the pain

which separation from their Master must have inflicted on them?

Were they restless or frustrated

because they could not visit the scene of Jesus’ burial any earlier?

What about that intolerable emptiness?

What we do know is that they spent part of the day in preparation;

the Marys and Salome, at the next dawn, “took aromatic spices they had prepared….”

(abridged from Joyce Huggett – Approaching Easter)


“This day stands between dust and glory, between human fallenness and human fulfilment, between Eden and the New Jerusalem – hope for the reversal of the forces of death.” – Ken Leech – “We Preach Christ Crucified”


“WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED” – The Real Tragedy – Kenneth Leech


The real tragedy of Good Friday was the death of Judas.

This death was truly tragic, meaningless, violent and desperate.

Unless we can identify in some way with his loss of hope,

we have not begun to understand Good Friday.

Entry into the darkness is the very heart of faith and of hope.

To be a Christian at all is to enter this dark night.

It was St John of the Cross in the sixteenth century

who first used the term “dark night of the soul”.

The way of faith is obscure – as St John of the Cross says,

we travel by night, we pass through the darkness.

Judas entered the darkness,

but never came through.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the stresses in my life often reach a dangerous proportion—or so it seems. My body, mind, and spirit struggle to keep up physically, mentally, and yes, spiritually.

Some days anxiety stalks me like a deceitful predator, and the temptation to worry draws me in. I know better, but some days the challenges outweigh the truths buried inside. My trust in You fades into the background, giving fear and concerns permission to discourage me.

Your Word assures me that You are always there with me. You are the Blessed Controller of all things, and nothing escapes Your attention in my life. You have given me every tool and spiritual blessing to fight against those things that try to steal my peace. You’ve promised that when I’m stressed and burdens are trying to weigh me down, I can come to You. You will give me rest!

As I focus on You, remembering Your promises and Your words, I believe You will fill me with a peace that is beyond all understanding.

 PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: comfort and relieve those challenged by serious and chronic mental and emotional illnesses.   Comfort those who care for them, that they too may be strengthened, and have confidence in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Mar 30

Thanks Phil from this side of the channel.


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