This is a scene of tragedy and glory.
A scene of tragedy: because Joseph and Nicodemus were both members of the Sanhedrin that had examined and formulated the charge against Jesus, but they were also secret disciples of Jesus. What a difference it would have been to Jesus to hear a voice of support or to see loyalty on a face among the hostility that surrounded him. But both Joseph and Nicodemus were afraid. We so often leave our tributes until people are dead. One flower in life is worth more than all the wreaths at the funeral. One word of love, praise and thanks in life is worth all the tributes in the world when life is gone.
A scene of glory: because no sooner was it when Jesus had died on the cross that Joseph and Nicodemus forgot their fear of being exposed as a follower of Jesus, asked the Roman governor for the body and paid tribute for everyone to see. The cowardice and the hesitation was gone.
Jesus had not been dead an hour when his own prophecy came true:
‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself ‘ (Jn. 12: 32).