Joseph And Nicodemus

Today is Thursday and according to my new schedule I should be posting about whatever it is that I am watching. Truthfully, other than random basketball games I am not watching much of anything. So I thought I would briefly touch upon something we discussed in Bible study last night. We have one in the day and one at night and we’re not always in the same place so the conversations are often different. Last night we were in Matthew 27 where Joseph of Arimathea takes Jesus’ body and buries it. In John’s gospel we see that Nicodemus (who came to Jesus earlier) is there as well. This doesn’t really seem to be a big deal on the surface. Two guys who admired Jesus helped the women take his body and put it in a tomb.

One thing I always seem to overlook is that both of these guys were taking a risk by publicly assisting in this. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and Joseph was a member of the ruling council. Neither supported the decision to crucify Jesus but until this moment, they were quiet about their support. Nicodemus had visited Jesus at night to avoid being associated with him. It’s possible that he feared what might happen if his fellow Pharisees discovered that he was a disciple. Joseph went one step further, he actually goes to Pilate and “boldly” asks for Jesus’ body. This may not seem like a big deal to us but they were putting themselves in danger by aligning with Jesus. They were willing to take a risk in Jesus’ name.

I have to ask myself, how much am I willing to risk to show that I believe in Jesus? I’m not talking about writing a blog post or sharing something on Facebook either. That’s nothing. What am I willing to give up to stand with Christ? Would I be willing to give up a job, my family, or my life? There are people who do just that. For the most part, we are spoiled here in the American church. It doesn’t really cost us to call ourselves a Christian. We may think it does but when compared to believers in other parts of the world, we have it easy. Too many of us (myself included) grumble and complain at the slightest hint of opposition but it still isn’t costing us anything to be a Christian.

Jesus called us to be (and to make) disciples. That will cost us something. Jesus talked about carrying a cross, leaving everything behind, and following Him. Joseph and Nicodemus reached a point where they were willing to take risks to show that they were truly disciples. Will we?

Grace and peace.

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