One of my favorite things to think about while reading the Bible is how ordinary people would do ordinary things only to have it used in an extraordinary way at the end. Case in point is one man who was named Joseph of Arimathea.
We don’t know much about this man. He’s only mentioned 3 or 4 times by name. And there are only a hand full of recorded words that describe him, his past and his experiences with Jesus. But there’s one thing that’s recorded about him that I find simply captivating. And that’s how God used this man to accomplish a feat that’s still turning the world upside down.
After Jesus’ crucifixion and death upon the cross, the Bible says, “Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.” (Matthew 27:57-60) I like how Matthew adds that Joseph laid Jesus in a tomb that he himself had carved out of the rock. I don’t know how long it took Joseph to do this. I don’t know how many times he would have busted up his knuckles. I don’t know how old he was when he finished his work. But I’d say it’s safe to say that Joseph probably never thought of anyone else but him laying down inside of it!
If Joseph only knew what would happen with his tomb, and how God would take something done by an ordinary man in an ordinary way and use it to reveal something most extraordinary, do you think he would’ve thought differently about it while cutting it out? Probably so. But either way, I bet this man never looked at Isaiah 53 or at any other tomb in the same way after Jesus came walking out of his!
“And they made His grave with the wicked—but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:9)