Written by Marcus Mitchell
Scripture to Read: John 19:38-42
Jesus had died at 3 o’clock and the Sabbath started at 6 o’clock. This meant that Jesus needed to be buried quickly so as to not interrupt Sabbath. Joseph of Arimathea took it upon himself to take care of this using a nearby tomb. Nicodemus provided the large amount of spices needed for burial according to their custom.
We know that both men had fear of the Jewish leaders finding out about their beliefs about Jesus. This act of openly showing respect to Jesus by taking care of his burial after death, may have been the first time that they openly showed their faith in Him. Maybe it was the finality of Jesus’ death that brought forth their true conviction that He was the Christ. The important thing is that they used this opportunity to do what was right and use their resources to honor Christ.
Each of us has our own way of grieving. Sometimes it isn’t until it is time to bury our loved ones that it fully hits us that we won’t see them again. When my grandma Mitchell died a couple years ago, it wasn’t until I was at the church for her funeral that it fully hit me. It was seeing my family, my aunts and uncles and cousins, and all the memories of time with my grandma flooded into my mind at once and it hit me hard. My emotions took me off guard and soon I was sobbing and hugging on my family as I grieved. There was sorrow, but it was mixed with joy because of the life my grandma lived and the legacy she left because of her faith in Jesus. In a similar way, perhaps the reality of Jesus’ death finally hit Joseph and Nicodemus and gave them the ability to express their true feelings.
Some may judge Joseph or Nicodemus for not being open about their faith until now. But this shows it is never too late to start serving Him. We don’t know what price Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus paid for this open exercise of faith and the respect they showed Jesus, but they were willing to pay it. Right now in the world it is getting harder to be a Christian and stand up for Biblical truths. What we need to pray for are the opportunities and the courage to use what means we have to honor and serve our Lord and Savior. If there is air in your lungs you can begin now serving Him and sharing with others the forgiveness, hope and joy you have found in Jesus.