Ordinary Joe.

Posted: October 13, 2008 in Uncategorized

I love Joseph of Arimathea.

Here’s the story:

There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character.  He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council.  His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea.  He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God.  Luke 23:50

This is a good man.   Though he was a part of the group that determined to kill Jesus – a group that was undoubtedly enraged  and irrational – he still said no.  I don’t know many people that brave.  And then, having been shut down, it would have been much easier to just move away from the whole mess.  Walk home and love your wife and hug your kids and hope that someday the world will change and order will be restored and the Messiah will come.  But Joseph doesn’t do that.  He stays actively involved and entwines his own life into the details of the death of Jesus.

In fact, he does this remarkable thing.  I hadn’t noticed, until I stumbled upon it at Barnes and Noble and found myself in the unfortunate position of crying over my lap top in the middle of the cafe.  Look at this verse:

“Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth, and buried it in a rock cut in a tomb…”

He took it down?  From where?  From the cross.

Just an ordinary Joe – going to work, paying his bills, waiting for the kingdom, saying no when everyone else says yes – finds himself walking up the lonely hill, kneeling in the blood-soaked ground, and removing the lifeless body of Jesus from the cross.

A dark and gruesome job if ever there was one.

It doesn’t say that anyone is with him.  It doesn’t tell us how he feels.  Maybe he struggled to see through the tears of disillusionment, having thought that this could be the One he had been waiting for.  Or perhaps they were tears of disappointment, feeling that surely He was the One…but now He’s dead.

Or, here’s a theory.  Could it be…I mean, is it possible that Joseph took the body for another reason?  Perhaps this good man with a good heart raced up the hill as fast as he possibly could in order to preserve that body because he knew – deep in his waiting-for-the-kingdom heart – that Jesus would need it again?  As he wrapped the human house of the Son of Man – broken and bruised – did he suspect that these were the scars that would prove to Thomas that hope was not lost?  Did he see every ugly stripe and remember the healing words of Isaiah?   How many tears and dreams and recited scriptures were woven into this act of caring for the last remnants of Emmanuel?

I love this story and I want the principles to be real and true and active in my life.  May it someday, sometime be said that “Bo, a woman of good heart and good character, lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God.”  And even when everything seems dead and broken beyond repair, I hope that I will be one who runs up the hill to breathe life and care and hope back into the dream of the kingdom.

I really love Joseph.


  1. Ann Dunagan says:

    This post is powerful, Bo.

    I love your thoughts and imagery, and how you apply a few rarely-if-ever commented on words (“He took it down”) to give me inspiration to live my life with continual hope and passion . . . even when things are dark and hard.

    P.S. I like your clean and classy new look.

  2. Whitney says:

    That is so beautiful. I think of him how I think of Mary Magdalene at the tomb, going to find Jesus’ body. It’s as if they knew he would be back…And that’s how I want to live. In alert expectation of the kingdom.

    Thanks for the beautiful post – it’s a wonderful one for a wonderful day like today!


  3. Lindsay Joy says:

    Hunching over my laptop crying as well…

    – Lindsay

  4. cassie says:


    thanks bo, so much good stuff packed into that post, and my head is spinning with thoughts…i think i need to go journal and not leave them on your blog!!! =)

    lovely really!

  5. Chris says:

    Add me to the list of laptop weepers. Thanks, my friend.

  6. ci says:

    Absolutely beautiful…and challenging!

  7. tstern says:

    🙂 Oh, Mom… Your Joseph is my Shammah. Gingerly taking down the body of Christ knowing what it really is, something of value. Fighting even when all his fellow soldiers fled, defending a field of lentils because it was God’s field of lentils. We’re crazy, we two. We stand in the middle of a measly field and under a breathless body, screaming half to the passers by and half to ourselves, “Look! It’s worth something! It’s not done! It’s worth fighting for! He’s worth believing in!” It’s good to know someone else is shouting.

    Soar throat and scratchy voice,

  8. Ann Dunagan says:

    Whoa, Bo. . . . . you’re Tori can really write, can’t she? Watch out for that next generation . . . they’ll take the anointing further and farther!!!!

  9. bolovesjoe says:

    Thanks for your comments, ladies. We’re a weepy bunch this week, aren’t we?

    And Tori…you perfectly described how I used to feel every Tuesday night in Oneighty, standing on the stage, begging teenagers to please love Him. Sometimes I feel like Shammah and sometimes I feel like the field, but I will stand with you and shout any day!

  10. Katie says:

    Okay, seriously stop it you guys! You know how easily I cry – I’m going to get dehydrated!

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