Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus


Courage and discipleship

“After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus.  Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.  Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes…” (NRSV, John 19:38,39)

Jesus died on the Cross at three o’clock on Good Friday afternoon.  The Jewish Law required that even on an ordinary day the bodies of those who had been crucified should be removed from their crosses before sunset and their burial would follow at once.

On this particular occasion, however, there was a special urgency because the next day, which according to Jewish reckoning began at sunset, was not only the Sabbath but also the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

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