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Thursday, March 23 2017
Where Was Joseph When His Son Was Crucified?
"Joseph her husband, being a just man"
Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: Life In Nazareth), was chosen by the LORD (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) to be the in-place human father of the Messiah. A detailed account is provided about Joseph at the time of the Messiah's birth (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: How Long In Bethlehem? and A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The Years In Cleopatra's Egypt), but nothing about Joseph is found at the time of the Messiah's Ministry and Crucifixion thirty years later. Mary is recorded at the time of the Messiah's Sacrifice, but no mention is made of Joseph at that time. Why?
First, it's important to consider that there was almost certainly a substantial age difference between Joseph and Mary at the time of their marriage. As was the custom, Mary would have been a teenager ("a young virgin"). While males could also be married in their teens, Joseph is described as an established (which takes time), righteous (which takes time to be determined) man with a mature attitude i.e. when it was discovered that Mary was with child, a younger man would not likely have dealt with the matter peacefully or quietly, while Joseph sought to discreetly remove her from the public eye, not merely for his convenience, but to save an innocent girl's life.
According to the Law of the LORD, Mary could have been stoned if the situation had actually been as it appeared (it comes as a surprise to many that the founder of the Muslim religion, along with his many mistakes, copied some of his other doctrines from the Bible e.g. along with the prohibition against idols and swine eating - the stoning execution for fornication and adultery, and other crimes; see Who Was Stoned?). Execution by stoning was then still very much in effect, as made obvious from the Messiah's famous saving of a woman from being stoned because her particular accusers were liars and hypocrites (see The Stone Casters; also A Biography Of Jesus Christ: Why Was The Messiah Crucified, Not Stoned?).
Joseph's response to the situation was that of a man with years of wisdom, not a young hot head: "Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example [i.e. publicly stoned], was minded to put her away privily."
"1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Keep in mind also that it all happened before the angel appeared to Joseph and made known to him what was going on. Until then, it was entirely Joseph's own matter to deal with (there is also the practical matter of the LORD choosing someone with the wisdom and years of experience to be the one charged with the responsibility of raising the Saviour). "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife."
"1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Many debate the age difference between Joseph and Mary, but the Holy Scriptures provide another definitive answer as to where Joseph was when the Messiah was Crucified.
One of the last things that the Messiah did as He was dying on the Cross was to arrange for His mother to go and live with her sister Salome ("his mother's sister" - see verses below) and nephew John ("the disciple standing by" - see the verses below and the Fact Finder question below). The Messiah would never have said such a thing if Joseph was alive - it would have been ordering a woman to leave her husband, as well as rebelling against the customary authority of his human father. The only way that the Messiah could have had any lawful right to say such a thing was if Joseph had died. As the eldest son, Jesus would then have had the responsibility of caring for His mother into her old age after she became a widow upon the death of her substantially older husband.
"19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Fact Finder: How do we know that Mary went to live with her sister Salome (the Messiah's aunt) and nephew John (Salome's son, Jesus' cousin) after the Messiah's Crucifixion?
This Day In History, March 23
1400: The Tran Dynasty of Vietnam was deposed after 175 years of rule.
1534: Pope Clement declared that the marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon (the Spanish-born daughter of the Roman Catholic monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain - the employers of Christopher Columbus and the founders of the Spanish Inquisition, including the torture of non-Catholics with "waterboarding") was still in effect. The marriage was ended in Britain the year before, and Henry had then married Anne Boleyn. To accommodate his repeated marriages and divorces, Henry eventually created the Church of England with himself as the head.
1540: The Waltham Abbey was surrendered to King Henry VIII of England. It was the last Church of Rome religious community to be shut during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
1568: The Peace of Longjumeau was signed, ending the second phase of the French Wars of Religion.
1657: France and England formed an alliance against Spain.
1801: Russian Czar Paul I was assassinated.
1808: Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.
1821: The Battle and fall of the city of Kalamata during the Greek War of Independence.
1849: After the Austrians had been victorious at Novara, Charles Albert of Sardinia abdicated in favor of Victor Emmanuel II.
1877: John Doyle Lee, a Mormon fanatic, was executed by firing squad for masterminding the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 127 Arkansas Methodists bound for California were killed by Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians.
1879: The Battle of Topater, the first battle of the War of the Pacific between Chile and the allied forces of Bolivia and Peru.
1918: The immense German artillery gun, "Big Bertha," shelled Paris from a distance of 75 miles / 120 kilometers.
1919: Italian Conservative dictator Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist Party (see Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1925: Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in public schools in the state. Teacher John Scopes ignored the ban and was later tried in what became known as "The Scopes Monkey Trial" (see Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists).
1933: The German Reichstag (Parliament) passed an "enabling law" that gave Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party the sweeping dictatorial powers (e.g. to make murder "legal" for Hitler to commit) they had been seeking (see Why Does Satan Love Liars? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion; also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1956: Pakistan became the first official Islamic republic in the world.
1966: Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Michael Ramsey met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome - the first meeting between the heads of the two churches in 400 years.
1983: Dr. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, died 112 days after being the first human to receive a mechanical heart.
2001: The Russian space station Mir was brought down out of orbit after 15 years. It burned up in re-entry and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. When it was launched in 1986, Mir was the world's first space station, later copied the U.S. Skylab (in orbit 1973 to 1979) and the International Space Station, a joint effort by Russia, the European Space Agency and NASA (in orbit 1998 to the present).