As a prominent member of the Jewish establishment, Joseph of Arimathea needed guts to go to Pilate and ask for the dead body of Jesus so he could give it a decent burial. It is presumably no easier for a closet Christian to come out of the closet than it is for anybody else, and you can't help admiring him for it. In view of the events of Easter morning, however, you can't help noting that if he'd only waited a few days, he could have spared himself a thumping bill from the undertaker.
It is important to give Joseph of Arimathea his due for his mortuary solicitude, but at the same time it is hard not to see him as the first of many Christians who spend so much time stewing about the blood of the lamb that they lose sight of the fact that the lamb has long since gone on to greener pastures, where he's kicking up his heels in the sunshine and calling to others to come join the dance.
~originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words