“There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body” (Luke 23:50-52, HCSB).
Joseph of Arimathea was apparently a member of the Sanhedrin and a man of wealth. He was a good and righteous man so he had disagreed with the injustice of the Sanhedrin’s decision to execute Jesus.
Now Joseph was a secret disciple according to the Apostle John: “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus—but secretly because of his fear of the Jews—asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’ body” (John 19:38).
But you can’t remain a secret disciple of Jesus for long.
And you can’t be looking for the Kingdom of God to come and keep quiet about it!
Joseph couldn’t stand by and allow the body of the Messiah, the Son of God, to be buried in a shallow common grave reserved for criminals, so he asked Pilate for the dead body of Jesus.
When he asked Pilate for the dead body of Jesus, he came out of the closet; he was exposed as a disciple of Jesus.
When Pilate was reassured by a centurion that Jesus was dead, he agreed to Joseph’s request. Joseph immediately purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46) and proceeded to Golgotha to take the body of Jesus down from the cross.
Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in the fine linen and applied myrrh and aloes. He was assisted by none other than Nicodemus, another formerly secret disciple (see John 19:39-40).
So these two members of the Sanhedrin, these religious leaders, these now “outed” disciples took the body of Jesus to the place that had been prepared for Joseph’s own body, a man-made cave hewn from rock in the garden of his house nearby.
And this secret disciple fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that the grave of the Suffering Servant would be with a rich man: “They made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death, although He had done no violence and had not spoken deceitfully” (Isaiah 53:9).
You can’t have the cross of Jesus stamped on your life and think nobody will notice!
Jesus doesn’t have secret agents!
Someday, sometime, somewhere, somehow, you are going to have to step out and do something for Jesus.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, HCSB).
- The Deliberate Disciple – Luke 9:57-62 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)