Where the Hell was Joseph?
The question bothers me every single year.
I know the question of where Joseph was isn't nearly as important as the rest of the story that Friday, but as a Daddy, it drives me crazy...the not knowing.
So I sent that question to multiple friends this morning via text and here are the responses:
- "Men are wimps."
- "He may have had to work 2nd shift during the documentary."
- "Dead? IDK never thought about that."
- "You mean Mary's baby's daddy? I often wonder that too..."
- "It was Friday, a workday. He was a carpenter, so making crosses?"
- "It's odd that he's not mentioned. He's not mentioned anywhere after the birth of Christ. Add that to the bucket list of things to ask when we get there."
- "He got tired of all the angels showing up at weird hours. He got a room at the local Motel 6."
- "Joseph gets a lot of publicity at Christmas; not much at Easter."
- "Men can't take the heat."
- "Maybe he was a loser Dad....he must not have been...Jesus turned out pretty good!!!"
- "Some think he had already died before the crucifixion. Proof that bad things happen to good people, even favored people, even God's son's people."
- "He was kickin some back bc his kid got killed."
I have some brilliant friends, some sick friends, some hilarious friends, and some friends with thoughts that pierce my heart.
Maybe the question of where Joseph was isn't as important as where I would have been on that day. Would I have been "the Disciple that Jesus loved"? Would I have been the one entrusted with the care of the mother of the Son of God? Would I have been hiding? One friend said, "...an annunciation sounds cool when you read about it, but it's a real drag when you're actually there. One gets tired of cowering and averting one's eyes."
Maybe the question of "where would I have been?" isn't even as important as another question: What do I do with the information I have now?
I wasn't there.
Neither were you.
We weren't witnesses to the facts. We didn't see him hanging there. We didn't hear his groanings. We didn't see the trail of blood down the Via Dolorosa. We didn't hear the cracks of the whip and we didn't feel the earthquake or shudder at the sounds of lightning and thunder.
We weren't there for the murder of Jesus Christ, but we are recipients of the very same Grace as those who were there, even those who participated in His crucifixion, received.
The fact is Jesus Christ did die on a Cross a couple thousand years ago. He died for me. The most important question to me is what now?
Now that I know His grace is willing to cover my messiness, what am I going to do about it?
Will I still run and hide from it? Is it still too humiliating? Is it still too uncomfortable? Too...unbelievable? Is it still too messy for me? I'm certainly not too messy for him.
I don't know where Joseph was, but where do I find myself?
Hiding outside the walls?
Weeping at the Cross?
Running away from Golgotha?
Running towards Jesus?
It's Good Friday. The day the world stopped turning.
I can't imagine what His best friends must have been thinking that day. I can't comprehend what His Momma was experiencing that Friday. I don't know where Joseph was.
I doubt any of them would have called it a "good" day, but the joy that has come from it, the freedom that I now walk in, the Comforter that has come now to be with us--to be with me as I woke up that day in a hospital bed--the forgiveness we have all been granted because of the Hell that Jesus went through, the mercy we have received, the grace we are bathed in because of His suffering: it makes it one very Good Friday for me.
Thank You, Jesus, for loving me. Thank You, God, for loving us enough to let Him go.
*Photo Credit: Adrian Moran