If you don’t know the name Mike Rowe, his face might not jump in your mind as being connected, but his show on the Discovery channel was “Dirty Jobs.” For eight seasons Mike got dirty along side workers, doing the jobs they regularly did, and that he chose to do for our entertainment.
But it’s not Mike I have on my mind following Sunday night’s sermon. It’s Joseph.
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (Luke 23:50 KJV).
Apparently Luke respected him. I expect Joseph was used to that as he was a member of the Sanhedrin. Think about that for a moment – those leaders were involved in Christ’s trials. Maybe that’s why Luke next wrote:
(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. (Luke 23:51 KJV)
His actions are included in all four gospels, for he accomplished what none of the others are said to have considered. Neither family nor disciples:
This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. (Luke 23:52 KJV)
He did not “require”, “demand”, “request” but “begged.” Brave enough to face the Roman authority, and humble enough to beg for the body of his Lord. Then, he did the dirty job:
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. (Luke 23:53 KJV)
I have attended many funerals. A large number of them loved ones, people who were important in my life. I’ve never had to prepare them for their funerals – I don’t know anyone who has. Joseph took the body down and wrapped it linen. The body that had been bloodied by whips and thorns, pierced by nails that held Him to the cross as well as a spear that loosened the remaining fluids and blood following His death.
This was a dirty job. But Joseph was not alone:
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. (John 19:39 KJV)
Yep – the Pharisee who did not understand being born again. The man to whom Christ succinctly wrapped up the gospel:
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:14-17 KJV)
Two men who kept their relationship with Jesus hidden are now not only openly acknowledging Him, but are taking His body for burial.
Nothing here indicates they, any more than His disciples, thought about the resurrection. My imagination tells me they were doing the last thing they could to respect a man they respected. They made themselves unclean by their actions, but there’s no indication of regret.
There is also no indication in the Bible what happened to them after the resurrection. Secular history has speculated and there are traditions, but nothing more biblically. Yet, we remember them both, as we should, for the love and respect they held for the Lord we worship.
Should we ever be ashamed to do a dirty job for our Lord? The one who washed His disciples’ feet?