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He Gathered Up Courage

March 30, 2018

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He Gathered Up Courage

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  for burial  and wait for 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.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

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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