Devotional Thoughts for Today
Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Joseph of Arimathea was a righteous man, who appears to have had a private allegiance to Jesus. He was most likely a seeker, being that it is noted of him as “…waiting for the kingdom of God” (v.51). Joseph was also a wealthy, respected person in society who was a notable member of the Sanhedrin, a local court. Upon Jesus’ death, he requests for the Messiah’s body and carefully prepares it for burial. It is believed that he used his personal money to purchase a weighty amount of myrrh and aloe to properly prepare the wrappings on Jesus’ body. He, along with the help of another man named Nicodemus, carefully laid our Savior’s body in a brand new tomb located in a garden. Interestingly, garden tombs were often used for the burial of kings. Criminals would never be given such a tomb or such an intentional burial. Clearly, Jesus was not to be remembered as a condemned criminal; rather, His royal essence was being honored.
In this detailed account of Jesus’ burial, we see how Joseph recognizes the validity of Jesus’ respectability and courageously steps into the role of preparing the Lord for Resurrection Sunday. He is unaware of how he is serving a part in Jesus’ resurrection that would happen in two days—he is simply choosing courage to honor Jesus out of the affections of his heart. However, his act of faith will serve as part of the process in which God will fulfill His plans. While Jesus’ disciples are in fear and dismay, an unexpected admirer of Jesus moves out in faith and fills the gap.
There is a lesson for us in this reflection. Every time we step out in faith (especially when motivated by love), we fill the gap in bringing about God’s plans; and this faith plows the pathway for God’s will to be done. Let us not allow fear to deter us from experiencing the fullness of God’s will for our lives. It is essential for us to confidently step into everything that God puts on our hearts, whether small or big, because these steps are paving a way for the Lord’s splendid plans to be birthed. We should rule over fear when it tries to rule us by choosing faith and courage, for fear binds and will not empower us to move forward. Embracing faith, however, will enable us to experience the unfolding of the extraordinary plans that God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9)!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Your Word assures me that You have incredible plans for my life, and these plans are bigger than I often imagine or believe. Help me not to settle for less than what You have spoken over my life. Enable me to step into everything that You ask of me, in order that I could allow You to blossom Your plans through my response to You. Cleanse me of every fear and empower me to fix my eyes on You. Thank you! Amen.
Bible Reading for today: Galatians 5-6