You can click HERE to read the passage.
The actions of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are interesting to me. So evidently both of these men were followers of Jesus, though “secretly” according to verse 28. And both of these men were influential Jews as they were members of the Sanhedrin. What I find interesting is why they have decided upon Jesus’ death to “come out” so to speak as ardent disciples. Why all of a sudden do they have the courage to do what they do? I could understand their actions if it was post resurrection – at least then they would know that everything Jesus had preached about Himself was true. But this is pre-resurrection. As far as they know, Jesus is dead. They don’t yet know the rest of the story. And yet here they are boldly identifying themselves with this man who was so despised by their colleagues.
Perhaps it was their love for Jesus that prompted them to act. Perhaps it was the injustice that they had witnessed that prompted them to act. Perhaps it was their guilty conscience at not having come out sooner that prompted them to act. Or perhaps it was their faith. Perhaps they decided that if their faith in Jesus was really real then it was now or never to do something about it.
Here are two application questions that I find myself pondering:
1) To what degree am I secretly following Jesus, not letting others know that I am a bona fide disciple?
2) What courageous act can I do this week to demonstrate (both to myself and to the world) that I am indeed a fervent follower of Jesus?
Next Week’s Passage: John 20:1-18