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After Jesus' death, Joseph of Arimathea went to the Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus so that he would bury him. The main reason for this was because He was a friend of Jesus, even though he had not been among the twelve disciples. Also, He was not from Galileo, but from Arimathea. AS such, he was not among the people who had crucified Jesus. In respect to the Judaism traditions, he had every right to ask for the body of Jesus. This was because according to the law, the family or friends of any criminal had the right to claim the body of the deceased. The only law governing the burial of criminals who had died through crucifixion was that they were not to stay over till sunset without being buried. Assuming that Joseph understood these traditions, it is evident that he felt that he would be given the body of Jesus (pg 1209).
According to the Jewish tradition, people who had committed blasphemy are the ones who had to be punished through crucifixion or being hung. As such, the blasphemers were buried in a secluded place identified by the court where they would be buried dishonorably. They would remain in these tombs until they had fully decayed. These tombs, however, had to be identifiable since later on, they were exhumed and their remains; bones, would be buried next to the tombs of their family members. In the case of Jesus, he had not committed any blasphemy. His only crime was that He was the King of the Jews. Therefore, since He was not a blasphemer, He had been judged wrongly when He was crucified. Moreover, He deserved a respectful burial (pg 1213).
From a personal point of view, I believe that Joseph may be considered as a disciple of Jesus, just like any believer in Christ is a disciple. His action was noble and must have been driven by the strong belief He had in Jesus. His main advantage was that He was not from Galileo, and as such, he could ask for the body without raising eyebrows. This is because it would have been rude for a Galilean to walk up to the Pilate and ask for the body of the person who had tried to take the Pilate's rule. Joseph of Arimathea is symbollic in that someone still cared for Jesus (pg 1237).