Joseph of Arimathea: 7 Traits of a Kingdom Influencer (Sermon Notes)

Are you called to be a Kingdom influencer? I believe these insights from the story of Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene will stir you.
God wants you to know that His chosen legacy for you is beyond what you ever dreamed. And your influence, anointed by the Holy Spirit, is set to increase.

7 Traits of a Kingdom Influencer

From the story of Joseph of Arimathea

At a critical moment, Joseph of Arimathea turned from a secret disciple into a courageous influencer [1,2]. He boldly requested the body of Jesus from Pilate, after the crucifixion. And then he, with Nicodemus’ help, buried Jesus reverently in his own tomb—setting the scene for the resurrection to come.
This is a man who stepped onto the stage of history, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, and his character and love for Jesus inspire us today.
Here are 7 traits of a Kingdom influencer, inspired by his life:

1. Divinely Positioned

Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish council; a Jewish leader who did not go along with those who conspired to murder Jesus. We also know he was wealthy and had influence in high places. His wealth and position were a gift from God—and he was in that place of influence for a reason.

And when the time came, Joseph of Arimathea was ready to sacrificially offer up his reputation, wealth, and position, to serve His Lord.
For all along, Joseph of Arimathea was Divinely positioned by God.

2. Courage to be Different

Joseph of Arimathea was “waiting for the kingdom of God” and was known to be a good and just man. But there was a tension in his life, for he was a secret disciple of Jesus.
Perhaps his own conversations with Jesus were like those of Nicodemus and he learned the way of salvation (John 3)
And like Nicodemus, he did not fit into the usual pattern of Jesus’ apostles or wider circle of followers.
Neither did he fit into the community of Jewish leaders he was a part of.
John tells us that he was a disciple of Jesus “secretly, for fear of the Jews” (John 19:38).

3. Takes Action at the Pivotal Moment

While Jesus was alive, Joseph of Arimathea did not draw the attention of those around him to his faith in Christ.
But when the time came to act, he showed no fear of repercussions or exposure. He approached Pilate boldly, to ask for Jesus’ body.

Pilate expressed surprise that Jesus had passed so soon, which tells us that Joseph knew of the time of Jesus’ death and acted immediately. So, while he is not listed as an onlooker, he was certainly in the wings, ready to receive the news.
And to act.

4. Fulfills God’s Purpose

Joseph of Arimathea could not stop the terrible event of the crucifixion from taking place. Still, he buried his beloved Master in dignity, in his own, prepared but unused tomb—a wealthy man’s burial cave, situated in a garden.
And so, Joseph of Arimathea fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah, Jesus:

“He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.” (Isaiah 53:9 NLT)

5. A Heart for Stewardship

It’s one of the most unusual gifts you could imagine! But Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb happened to be nearby the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. It was pristine and unused.
This tells us that God chose Joseph of Arimathea ahead of time—and that in the preparation of that burial site, Joseph was moved by the Holy Spirit.

God gave Joseph wealth and influence, and a gift for stewardship. And he used it to serve Jesus in the offering of a tomb. And so, the burial place that once belonged to Joseph of Arimathea became a testament to the glory of God—the scene for Christ’s resurrection.

6. A Passionate Contributor

In the short time that Joseph and Nicodemus had available, they methodically covered Jesus’ body in fine linen strips, along with the spices that Nicodemus brought (see John’s account). They had to move quickly, for a sacred day in the Jewish calendar was only hours away.
The women were nearby, standing opposite the tomb, watching to see where they laid Him—for they had their own plans to prepare Jesus’ body with burial spices.

The name “Joseph” means “adding…let him add…or “Jehovah has added” (Strong’s H3130)
So, Joseph of Arimathea was named for his contribution—and will be known in eternity for the part he played. [2]

7. They Outlast the Crowd

When Jesus was buried, others who had walked with Him were nowhere to be seen. Many disciples had fled into hiding.
Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, and the other faithful Mary were still present when it mattered most.
They outlasted the crowd, and their sacrificial love and faith were rewarded.

From Hidden to History-Maker

And so it was, that Joseph, and Nicodemus alongside him, became the final people to view the lifeless, broken body of Jesus.

And Mary Magdalene—who among others, had watched the activity of Joseph and Nicodemus from nearby, returned on the third day, to become the first to see Jesus as Risen Savior!

(Interestingly, Joseph and Mary were present at His birth—and at His death and resurrection, a different Joseph and Mary are a part of the Gospel story).

  • Mary Magdalene also becomes an “unexpected influencer”, being the first evangelist to bear the Good News, after Jesus’ resurrection

And this is a reminder, that Jesus delights to raise those the world least expects.
Likewise, you also have been chosen by God for His purposes.

The Sign of the Empty Tomb

What Joseph of Arimathea did was in secret, but it has been made known to all throughout history, and recorded in Scripture!
It’s a reminder that Heaven’s viewpoint is different from ours.
He became an unexpected influencer who was central at that historical moment.

Henceforth, Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb would become known as “the empty tomb”.

The Mystery of Joseph of Arimathea

So, what happened to Joseph of Arimathea? And what did he make of the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection? His tomb—his property—became the focus of a scandal and an investigation.

His life may have been endangered, with pressures to come.
Did he see Jesus after the resurrection? Was Joseph of Arimathea present on the day of Pentecost? We are not told in the New Testament.

But we can glean a great deal from this snapshot. For his story is recorded—not only to complete the Gospel and describe the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy—his story is there for us.

And I believe the Lord is highlighting it right now because he is raising up many “Josephs” and “Marys” in our day.
For God is calling His unexpected influencers out of hiding—and they will shake the world.

Joseph of Arimathea’s Legacy and Yours

Finally, I believe someone is reading this, who has sought to be faithful to the legacy God has given you. Some dreams and ministry, you thought you had left behind.
But these will come to the forefront, you will see how the pieces fit into place.

The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the most powerful event in history—and here, hidden at the heart of it, is a humble yet bold influencer.

Perhaps you have felt that the past disqualifies you, or you have felt hidden away.
Or, you may relate to being stuck in a prolonged reset season.
God wants you to know that you are not “on the shelf”. He is preparing you for unexpected influence.
And this is your season of resurrection.

Leave a Comment
Can you relate to this snapshot from the story of Joseph of Arimathea? This story has inspired my husband and me this week and we’ve had quite animated conversations about it, on our evening walks.
I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment or your prayer requests in the comments box below.

[1] Further study:
Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
Also, John 3—Jesus’ conversations with Nicodemus give us an insight into his relationship with Joseph of Arimathea, a peer (and likely friend) of Nicodemus.
[2] Arimathea: sometimes spelled Arimathaea – ref Strong’s G707 from H7414 meaning heights (a location in Palestine)

Related Posts

It’s Time to Own Your Resurrection Identity

Nicodemus: 9 Powerful Insights from the Gospel Story

Clearance: God is Giving You a Fresh Beginning (from the Lazarus Story)

There’s Power in Your Prophetic Discernment: Here’s My Best Advice

Do you have a gift of discernment? I highly recommend you develop your prophetic gift, to use in conjunction with discernment.

  • And here’s why: when we focus on God’s intention (Matt 6:10), we can pray and speak God’s will to bring it about
  • We can respond according to what we see the Father doing (not only what we see the enemy doing)

As discerners, we can keep our senses open to the Holy Spirit, wherever we are, even when we’re confronted by a negative atmosphere.

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© 2023 Helen Calder, Enliven Blog

Enliven Ministries: Prophetic ministry for a revival generation

55 thoughts on “Joseph of Arimathea: 7 Traits of a Kingdom Influencer (Sermon Notes)”

  1. Thanks for sharing this timely word, Helen. What you described is exactly how I’ve been feeling. I’ve been sitting on a dream for 27 years. I thought it lost for a while, but it seems God is resurrecting it for such a time as this. Please pray that I can be positioned and ready for what God has planned. Thanks again!

    1. I’m deeply moved by this teaching. Something resurrected from within me. Gods time is the best always. I’m blessed.

      1. Lovemore G Chikova

        Very inspiring and encouraging. May the Lord continue to use you on this front. Many blessings

  2. God bless you prophetess and. Increase you mightly in Jesus name .
    I receive the blessed word and I claim my resurrection in this season in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!

    Please pray for me to receive answers to delayed prayers and my divine helpers in Jesus name Amen
    Much Gratitude

  3. Rosemary Del Prado

    Hello Helen,
    Thank you so much for your faithfulness. I can relate to being stuck in a long season of reset. I appreciate your comments to everyone, and your comment to Graeme pierced my heart – May the good of how God is moving stand out to me and us all! Thank you. A big hug to you from the USA/Florida.

    1. thank you Rosemary
      I pray with you, may the reset turn into a move of the Holy Spirit, launching you into the new season of fruitfulness. He DOES have that for you!

  4. The evil one would like to stop me from influencing my children; they told me they would never accept the faith which they knew from their childhood. They are not blessed by this proclamation – all three children are divorced and have psychological problems. Please pray for me (I have made many mistakes) that the intentions of the evil one will be thwarted and let the Lord will use me or anyone, and His influence will come back into their lives, and they will be saved.

  5. Xolani Nduneni

    Yes thank you for the story Joseph of Arimathea, the time for me to come out of hiding and do what the Lord showed me in 2003 in a dream has arrived, and I trust the Holy Spirit will guide me every step of the way. The Lord has. Lead you to write these 7 Traits of a Kingdom influencer, thank you for being an obedient servant of the Lord.
    In His service
    Xolani Nduneni

    1. every small step is significant when it’s a step of obedience. I pray you will receive wisdom and clarity as you move forward, Xolani Nduneni

  6. I’m in total tears over this

    I am a retired minister of faith

    My husband passed away 17 months ago. I know it was his time and I know where he is. Yet he was such a big part of the ministry God had called us too

    He was my prayer warrior, mentor, confident and even though he was not a minister he was was my partner in this ministry and an amazing Godly support to the church and myself

    Since his passing a lot has happen, a lot of disappointment with the church I was a part of, long story.

    There was no support after his passing. I am a strong person and I feel that in their their thinking it was because I am strong I didn’t need their support I would be right. Yet I really needed it, I lost the love of my life, a beauitful gift from God

    I was also their minister/mentor and I was there to support them not the other way around. I know for most they didn’t quiet know how to support me, yet it was still heartbreaking

    I left that ministry March 2022 behind. I knew God had a different ministry for me from that of which my husband and I shared

    Over the pass 12 months I have sat doing nothing. On the days when I think of the pass 17 months I have been quiet bitter over the treatment from this church. I know how wrong this is yet every time I think of picking myself up and moving on I just can’t

    I know God has so much more for me and I have not been left on the shelf. That has been confirm so many times and this word today just concreted it for me

    I guess I just feel frozen in grief, hurt and time

    The sadness thing is I know how disappointed my husband would be in my not doing what God has called me too

    I know it’s time I just don’t no where to begin anymore

    1. Hi Carol, i’m sorry to hear of this challenging time you have been through and the loss of your husband
      The book of Ruth comes to mind, especially the tipping point where she changes her clothes, anoints, and presents herself to Boaz. I pray this weekend, that the resurrection story be refreshed in your heart and experience

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