Today’s Thoughts – 24 September 2020
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
I see three themes in these verses:
The first theme has to do with the word “besought” in this passage. It wasn’t that Joseph of Arimathaea just asked Pilot for Jesus’ body. He “besought” it – he pleaded for it. Mark 15:43 says he “craved for the body of Jesus.”
Do we crave for Jesus? Do we seek Him with our whole heart and life? God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins and pay our sin debt (John 3:16). Shouldn’t we deeply desire to have a relationship with Him much like we would want to have a relationship with our spouse having craved for them long before marriage?
It took courage for Joseph and Nicodemus to request Jesus’ body from Pilot. All the gospel writers note that they were secret disciples of Christ. By requesting Jesus’ body, they would now be publicly known to be followers of Christ.
This is the courage that we must have. We must be willing to be seen as followers of Christ at home, at school, and at work. We should not be ashamed of Christ or of the gospel (Romans 1:16). Instead, we should be bold followers of Christ who share His gospel with as many as we can.
Finally, I see the theme of planning. These two men had 3 hours to bury Jesus’ body before the Sabbath began. Yet, they already had a tomb that was Joseph’s (Matthew 27:60) that he had hewn out in a rock (Matthew 27:60) which was right next to the place of crucifixion (John 19:41). The question would be why Joseph would have purchased a tomb next to a place of humiliation and death for himself. Being a member of the Jewish council, he most certainly would have desired to be buried in the Holy City like his colleagues.
Likewise, Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes to bury Jesus’ body with. He would not have been able to purchase this large amount of spices this close to the Sabbath and the Passover feast. These two men are likely to have contrived Jesus’ burial before His death by the leading of God in their lives. They must have studied the scriptures and known the prophecies to be able to have the preparation for such an important part of the passion of Christ.
We must be in tune with God’s will for our lives. And we can get God’s will from His Word. It’s important for us to be in the Word so the Word can be in us and guide us in our lives. And we too can accomplish great things for God and be a part of something that can change our world.