Just like Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member was a ‘secret believer’ and requested the body of Jesus for His burial. Notice the timing. It is Passover. John the Baptist who was foretold in Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 3:1 said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)”. The timing was perfect since Jesus is the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world and His sacrifice was needed to provide atonement for sin.
Joseph of Arimathea believed in Jesus. We have considered in part one the cost Nicodemus expended to bring 100lb of Myrrh for the burial of Jesus. It was similar to the woman who will be forever remembered having poured a very costly alabaster jar of fragrant oil on Jesus’ head before He was betrayed. There was a cost for Joseph too. The moment Joseph requested the body of Jesus, he was publicly identifying himself as a follower of Jesus. He would be ceremonially unclean during Passover and more than likely expelled from the Sanhedrin and would no doubt be ostracised by many family and friends.
Notice that Jesus was buried with the rich. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were both wealthy and Jesus was buried in the tomb of a rich man. This fulfils Isaiah 53:9, that incredible chapter which speaks so specifically and movingly about Jesus the Messiah and how He would make atonement.
Jesus was buried in a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. Not only was the resurrection of Jesus foretold in Psalm 16:10, “Nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”, but in further fulfilment, not even the body of Jesus would come into contact with that which was corrupted.
There will be a cost for the believer in Jesus. Though salvation from the Lord is a free gift which we cannot earn, it came at an immeasurable cost as the Father gave His Son to die for our sins and to reconcile us to Him. But Jesus also reassuringly promised, “For whoever desires to save his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”