A Prominent Member
A Prominent Member
Sometimes it can be hard to admit to a love for Jesus and all He stands for. In the company of hostile unbelievers, one might be afraid of bucking against the wind, or even of facing imminent danger. Such was the case for Joseph of Arimathea. When Jesus was pronounced dead, he greatly desired to express his love and respect for the Lord. He did not want Jesus’ body to just continue hanging there for people to mock.
Joseph wanted to give Jesus a respectful burial, but he had to work fast because, according to Jewish custom, the new day would begin at what we think of as 6 p.m. That new day would be a Sabbath day and Jews were forbidden to work on the Sabbath. Joseph wanted to take Jesus’ body to his own newly prepared tomb to await a more proper burial procedure after the Sabbath day had passed.
But, Joseph was in a fearful position. The Jewish religious leaders and the Roman soldiers might make things difficult for him. We read in Mark 15:42-47,
And when evening had already come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, a man who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
And Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
And Joseph bought a linen sheet, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen sheet, and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock, and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.
Although Joseph was “a prominent member of the Council”, he was in the minority. The other members of the Council had already shown how belligerent and hateful they could be. They were an unreasonable mob controlled by jealousy and arrogance. And so, it was necessary for Joseph to have to “gather up courage“, in order to step up and “ask for the body of Jesus”. Things could get nasty rather quickly.
But, God was at work fulfilling prophecy. In spite of Joseph’s fearfulness, God was with him and causing all things to work in his favor. The prophecy Joseph helped to fulfill is found in Isaiah 53:9,
His grave was assigned to be with wicked men,
Yet with a rich man in His death;
Although He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
When we courageously hold to God’s ways with what is right, decent, and good, we can be sure God is with us — no matter what takes place. We might be fearful and trembling, but God will work all things for our good in the end. Point being — no matter who despises our faith, we can afford to take courage and do what is right and good in God’s eyes.
God is the one who is in power and control. Those who despise God’s way of salvation will have an eternity to pay for their lack of respect. That is why it is important to live our whole lives for the Lord, no matter what others think.
Always looking to the Lord in faith, we say, “Hallelujah! Lord, blessed be Your love and faithfulness in staying by our side at all times. All glory is Yours forever because You do all things well, as is proven in the Bible.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.