Joseph of Arimathea

Some believe that Joseph was related to Jesus. It is probable that he was the Virgin Mary's uncle. He was a wealthy Roman citizen, probably a tin merchant by trade
He was from Arimathea , a city in Judea as per Luke 23:51:"He came from the Judaean town of Arimathea."

Joseph was probably one of the 72 apostles appointed in Luke 10 by the Lord. The Lord sent these apostles ahead " in pairs to every town and place he was going to visit himself," saying to them "the crop is heavy ,but labourers are scarce....Be on your way....I am sending you like lambs among wolves..." This cannot be proven. It is more probable that he was a secret follower of the Lord for fear of the Jews.
He was a " respected member of the council ," or sanhedryn, " a man who looked forward to the Kingdom of God ," and was against the actions of this council against Jesus as per Luke 23: 50-53.

Joseph appears in the Bible once only. He asked Pilate for the body of the crucified Lord and he laid him in his own stone tomb.
"Joseph brought a linen sheet ,took him down from the cross, and wrapped him in the sheet. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance." Mark 15 46:47

It could be true that Jesus was related to Joseph because Joseph was the one who went to Pontius Pilate after the crucifixion and asked for the Lord's body. It was a custom that the senior male member of the family was obliged to deal with the body after an execution. Joseph, Mary's husband and the Lord's step father , in effect, was dead, so there could have been a relationship with Joseph of Arimathea.

Joseph is linked heavily with Britain and Glastonbury and the search for the Holy Grail.He had connections to Britain because of the tin mines in this country at the time. Some believe that Jesus, as a boy, accompanied Joseph to Britain on a trip , because Jesus was working with him. This is probably the inspiration behind William Blake's hymn Jerusalem. There is no real proof of this, however.After the crucifixion , Joseph fled Palestine. Some believe that he took Mary with him and the Holy Grail. This was the cup used by the Lord at the Last Supper. He fled to Britain and ended up at Glastonbury in Somerset.. It is rumoured that he hid the Holy Grail in the well in Glastonbury-the Chalice Well.

Britain at the time was outside the Roman Empire. He landed at Avalon and set foot on Wearyall Hill , just below the Tor. He thrust his staff into the ground and rested. By the morning, the staff had taken root leaving a thorn bush growing on Wearyall Hill. This became known as the Holy Thorn or Glastonbury Thorn. . A remnant of this tree remains to this day. It flowers twice a year in good conditions at Easter and Christmas.

Joseph established a church in Glastonbury dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Wattle Church appears to have been the earliest Christian church in Christendom. Joseph converted many to Christianity including 18,000 in one day at Wells. He also converted the local King Ethelbert. He went on to found Glastonbury Abbey. He died aged 86 .He was a very popular man.At his funeral his body was carried by six kings it is believed.

The location of the Holy Grail remains unknown to this day.We celebrate him in the Orthodox Church on the second sunday after Easter along with the myrr-bearers.


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Last published: :19/10/08
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