Let your soul take a moment of rest as you hear God’s word. Put your busy schedule, wandering mind, stressful thoughts, and burdened heart at the feet of the cross and open up to God’s voice as the Giver of Life tends your soul.
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Today’s scripture focuses on a further paradox surrounding the death of Jesus. According to commentator William Barclay, the assistance of Joseph and Nicodemus in the burial of Jesus reveals both “tragedy and glory.”
Because Joseph and Nicodemus were “secret disciples,” they were tragically afraid to let their loyalty to Christ be known. However, the death of Christ caused these men to forget their fears, and they rushed to bring Him honor and glory.
The power of the crucifixion immediately began to work in the lives of these two men. They came forward to anoint His body. They wrapped Him in new linens. They gave Him a new tomb. They no longer hid their love. In Barclay’s words, “The power of the Cross was even then turning the coward into the hero.”
Like Joseph and Nicodemus, we often delay revealing our loyalties to our loved ones. We put off until tomorrow what we should be saying or doing today. This delay almost always causes painful regret. Our relationship with Christ and those we love should be top priority. May we never hide our love and loyalty out of fear or hesitancy.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the examples of Joseph and Nicodemus. Help me to be bold in my loyalty to you and to those I love. Help me always to rush to bring you honor and glory. Amen.
Go with God!