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 himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. (Luke 23:50-53)
In my notes about this passage I had written, “Joseph of Arimathea was a good and upright man – be like him, Dave!”
In this passage, “good” means that which originates from God and is empowered by Him in life, through faith. “Upright” describes what is in conformity to God’s own being (His will, standard of rightness), hence “upright or just in the eyes of God.” Certainly great sounding descriptions for anyone – but how did Joseph of Arimathea demonstrate that he was “good and upright?”
From this passage alone, we see that Joseph:
- Was willing to stand alone – he had not gone along with the crowd in the condemning of Christ.
- Was looking forward to the kingdom of God – he lived with the things of heaven in mind, guiding his actions.
- Boldly took action on behalf of Christ by approaching Pilate.
- Cared for Jesus’ body.
- Gave to Jesus what he had once considered his own (the tomb).
Please take a moment and reread the short list above. The goodness and righteousness of Joseph was seen in his willingness to stand alone for Christ, living with eternity in mind, taking bold action for Jesus, caring for the body of Christ, and giving to the Lord.
Want to be seen as “good and upright” in God’s eyes? Go and do likewise! –Dave
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