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Good Morning MVC · April 10thby Kami Wright on April 10, 2020
Good Morning MVC,
Something that has always intrigued me about the day Jesus was crucified was the behavior of all the disciples, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. Let’s start with an excerpt from the Life Application Study Bible Devotional[Week 49, Day 5] about these people:
Setting the Scene: Because Jewish law forbade allowing a dead body to remain exposed overnight (Deut. 21:23), Joseph of Arimathea “asked for Jesus’ body” so he could give it a proper burial. Although he was an honored member of the Sanhedrin (Mark 15:43), Joseph was a “secret disciple” of Jesus (John 19:38, NLT). As the evening and the Sabbath approached, Joseph had to hurry. Fortunately, he had help. Nicodemus, another member of the Sanhedrin, brought spices with which to wrap Jesus’ body in the linen cloth provided by Joseph (John 3:1, 19:38-42). Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped Jesus’ body, placed it in the tomb, and rolled a heavy stone across the entrance.
Getting Personal: Jesus’ eleven closest disciples ran away when he was taken. But his secret followers Joseph and Nicodemus stepped forward. In asking for Jesus’ body, they were exposed, their secret revealed. Joseph risked his safety and reputation to give Jesus a proper burial; he went against propriety and expectations. It would be easiest and safest to keep quiet about our beliefs and convictions. But Christ calls us to follow Him boldly, standing for the truth and doing what is right. When you think your Christian witness will endanger your reputation or security, remember Joseph and Nicodemus.
This is what I’d like to leave you with today: Ask God to remove your fears about what others will think or say about you. Ask for the courage and strength to stand up for your faith and for Jesus. It may seem like an unusual thing to pray for if you see your faith as deep and wide but if you polled the disciples as they were cowering in fear (except John, who was with Jesus and Mary), as Simon was awash with shame, and as Judas took his life, if they would have ever let Him down in this way…well, they would have said no way. Additionally, if Joseph and Nicodemus were asked to make their secret beliefs known to the Sanhedrin before Jesus was arrested, they very well may have said no too. It was the persecution and crucifixion of Jesus that pivoted all of their actions 180 degrees from their likely original intent.
As we “survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died,” and what it accomplished, let us also think about the important actions of Joseph and Nicodemus and strive to boldly step up our commitment to Him – whether it is an obvious, public moment to honor Christ or the sum of a thousand small and secret moments.
Peace and Grace,