Sunday, May 3, 2009

Unsung Hero

I just got done reading The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop.

My goal was to have it done by Easter but, alas, I just couldn't read quick enough.

I have posted before about how I sometimes wish Gospel writers were historians so we had more detail about the life of Jesus. Well, in this book, Bishop combines a ton of historical research and Church teaching to paint every detail of Jesus' last day on Earth. It is very well written - so much so that there were times I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a live account of what happened!

Needless to say, I highly recommend it.

But there was one paragraph at the end of the book that really moved me. Bishop tells the familiar story of how Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked if he could take Jesus' body to a tomb.

To me, that has always been a sidebar in the Passion. I never really took the time to reflect on what a brave thing Joseph really did. Bishop explains that while Joseph was an important member of the Sanhedrin, he was a secret follower of Jesus. By asking Pilate for Jesus' body, he "outed himself" and put himself in great danger.

That brave act becomes even more meaningful when you realize that it was Joseph - and not one of the 11 Apostles - that took the lead to care for our Savior's body. What love! What faith! What a great example for all of us.

God Bless.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael for the Mother's Day wishes....
I enjoy books based on historical research because even if they are fiction I think a lot can be learned from them. This sounds like it would be a very good book. You are right that Joseph seems to be some what forgotten. I can't even begin to imagine the strength he had to do what he did. He was a great man and put his life on the line for Jesus. As sad as it is to say I often wonder if I would be a peter or a Joesph. I don't think any of us can truly know unless we are put to the test. I can only hope and pray I would be like Joesph. He was a fine example of the type of people we should all strive to be.

the booklady said...

A fine book review Michael. I'll be adding Bishop's book to my 'to-read' list! And Carol, you ask a thought-provoking question too.

Blessings on the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima!

Happy Catholic said...

Micahel, thanks for the recommendation. I'll pick up a copy next time I'm out, and say a prayer thanking God for your efforts!

christopher said...

Coincidentally, I just got it in the mail yesterday, along with his follow-up The Day Christ Was Born (and Papa Benedict's St. Paul). I can't wait to get into it as soon as I finish five other books I'm halfway through! So far, the best I've ever read on the life of Christ is Bishop Sheen's Life of Christ.