Today’s post is going to break from the typical trend, owing to this being Holy Week. Since yesterday was Good Friday, it seems appropriate to mention and honor one saint who played a role in those events, Joseph of Arimathea:
Joseph of Arimathea was, according to all four canonical Gospels, the man who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus after Jesus’ crucifixion. A number of stories that developed during the Middle Ages connect him with both Glastonbury, where he is supposed to have founded the earliest Christian oratory, and also with the Grail legend.
More from his wiki:
According to Mark 15:43, he was an “honourable counsellor (bouleutēs), meaning a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, who was waiting for the kingdom of God”. Matthew 27:57 described this Joseph as a rich man and disciple of Jesus. According to John 19:38, upon hearing of Jesus’ death, this secret disciple of Jesus, “went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus”.
Pilate, after a centurion confirmed the death, allowed Joseph’s request. Joseph immediately purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46) and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross. There, according to John 19:39, Joseph and Nicodemus took the body, wrapped it in the fine linen, and applied the myrrh and aloes Nicodemus had brought. The disciples then conveyed the prepared corpse to the place previously bought for Joseph’s own tomb, a man-made cave hewn from rock in a garden of his house nearby. This was done speedily, “for the Sabbath was drawing on”. Luke 23:50–56 also mentions the event.
I’m not surprised that so much legend has built up around him, given the prominent and scarcely mentioned role he played in the faith.