Stepping out of the Shadows

April 16th, 2012

RG AUDIO 041612John 19:38-42

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were respected members of the highest Jewish council in Jerusalem. They disagreed with the council’s decision to arrest Jesus (Luke 23:50-53; John 7:51-52). Still, they kept their discipleship to Jesus a secret out of fear (John 3:1-2; 19:38).

But when these two men witnessed Jesus’ triumphant death in a cruel and humiliating Roman execution, a new boldness came over them. Joseph went to Pilate in broad daylight to request Jesus’ body. Nicodemus brought an enormous amount of spices fit for a royal burial.

The death of Jesus turned everything upside down for Joseph and Nicodemus. Most likely they were not expecting a resurrection. It was the death of Jesus that gave them a new outlook, a new set of priorities. Their social status, power, and prestige did not matter any more. What Jesus had said came true: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, NRSV).

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