After washing of feet, Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment. Love one another.” That’s how today got its traditional name– Maundy Thursday”- from the Latin mandatum which means, “mandate, commandment”
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who, though he was a member of the council, had not consented to their plan of action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea and was awaiting the Kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Luke 23:50-52)
From now to the end of Luke’s Passion, not a word will be spoken. Silence.
At the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, we heard of Simeon, a “righteous and devout man….awaiting the consolation of Israel,” who took the child Jesus in his arms. Now, at the end, we hear of Joseph, “a virtuous and righteous man….awaiting the Kingdom of God” who goes to Pilate on Jesus’ behalf, and who takes his dead body in his arms. (Luke does not say that he was a believer in Jesus).
This is the only time since Jesus began his ministry that he was totally dependent on someone else’s help. What was it like for Joseph? It was probably an interruption in his day and took him away from something else he had to do, something he considered more important.
It sets one thinking about Jesus’ words in the last judgement scene in Matthew: “Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least ones, you did for me.” That’s easy to believe in theory, but hard to believe in practice.
Maybe this scene when Joseph takes care of Jesus should be the one I think about when I have to go out of my way to help someone