In His Steps

Jesus is laid in the tomb.  John 19:38-42 (also in Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56)

Afterwards Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jewish leaders, boldly asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus’ body down; and Pilate told him to go ahead. So, he came and took it away. Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night, came too, bringing a hundred pounds of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped Jesus’ body in a long linen cloth saturated with the spices, as is the Jewish custom of burial. The place of crucifixion was near a grove of trees, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because of the need for haste before the Sabbath, and because the tomb was close at hand, they laid him there.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret followers of Jesus. Joseph was a leader and honored member of the Jewish Council (the Sanhedrin). Nicodemus, also a member of the Council, had come to Jesus by night (3:1) and later tried to defend him before the other religious leaders (7:50-52). They risked their reputations to provide for Jesus’ burial.

Changed Lives

The Gospel writers described four particular people who were changed in the process of Jesus’ death. The criminal, dying on the cross beside Jesus, asked Jesus to include him in his Kingdom (Luke 23:39-43). The Roman centurion proclaimed that surely Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 15:39). Joseph and Nicodemus, members of the Council and secret followers of Jesus (John 7:50-52), came out of hiding. These men were changed more by Jesus’ death than by his life. They realized who Jesus was, and that realization brought out their belief, proclamation, and action. When confronted with Jesus and his death, we should be changed—to believe, proclaim, and act.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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