Friday, March 29, 2013

Secret disciples

38 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. 39 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. 40 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. 41 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. 42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand. John 19:38-42

Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodeumus were “secret disciples”. Joseph feared the Jews and Nicodemus probably felt the same way since he visited Jesus in the dead of night. This night was different; Joseph boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate called the guards to see if Jesus was dead and gave the body to Joseph. I’m sure Pilate was relieved to “get rid of the body” especially since his wife had warned him to have nothing to do with “that just man”. (Matthew 27:19)

Then the two men carefully took the body of Jesus and prepared it for burial. Nicodeumus brought 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes. One hundred pounds is a large amount for one body and myrrh is a very expensive spice. Nicodeumus was showing his great love for Jesus.  As was the custom they wrapped His body with the spices and linen. When they were finished with the preparation of the body they gently carried it and laid it in a new garden tomb which had never been used. Joseph and Nicodeumus used the very best for their Lord and Savior.

Three times in the Bible myrrh is associated with Jesus. The first time was when the wise men worshipped Jesus and brought gifts of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11) We next hear of myrrh when it was given to Jesus as He hung on the cross (Mark 15:23). Finally, it was brought to anoint His body at death (John 19:39).

There may be a time when we will be “secret disciples”. There are Christians in some countries that are being persecuted for their beliefs. Laws are being made against Biblical principles. Where do I stand? Do I know God’s word? The last days are coming, am I ready? Are you?

While there is still time, we need to share God’s precious word.

Have a blessed day,

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