Joseph Did Not Consent
Luke 23.50-51 (reduction mine) “Joseph…of Arimathea…was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action…”
Joseph did not agree to the murder of Jesus. That is easy to read, but difficult to reconcile. Because “it was the will of the LORD to crush Him: [the LORD] has put [His Christ] to grief…” (Isaiah 53.10) One question that might be asked is: Did Joseph oppose God by not consenting to have the Lamb of God sacrificed?
Immediately, I want to recall Isaiah 55.8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” And also 2 Timothy 2.20: “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, so for dishonorable”.
Joseph probably did not apply “it was the will of the LORD to crush him” to the council’s vote to murder Jesus. I venture to assume Joseph “a good and righteous man”, saw the decision for the injustice that it was- sentencing an innocent man to death. Still, the question seems relevant- Did Joseph oppose God?
I think the answer is that Joseph did not oppose God, he was simply ignorant of God’s plan. It is difficult for us to understand how God can use an evil thing to bring about His design. Consider, this is exactly what is meant by the statement, “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50.20) made by a different Joseph after his brothers had sold him into slavery. God’s plan cannot be stopped by evil- or good.
In the words of Marty McFly- “That’s heavy!” Consider for a moment that despite all the good we try to accomplish, all the Christlikeness we can exude, all the righteousness we can show- we cannot keep God’s plan from manifesting. What kind of negative (evil) thing can we not stop? The actions of others.
Pray and vote- that’s GREAT! But, as Nebuchadnezzar observed, “the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom He will” (Daniel 5.21). Like Joseph, I can vote against injustice and my vote may not win the day. But, God is in control and His plan must succeed- even if I cannot understand.