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A Prominent Member

April 15, 2016

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Post_2011_02_28_B Pics 757

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.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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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.

Philippians 3:12

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