2015-04-09 - Joseph and Nicodemus
John 19:38-40 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. 39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews
It is some short time after Jesus' body has been taken down from the cross. Jesus has been executed in one of the most public and brutal ways the Roman law could assign as a criminal sentence. With His death the disciples were reeling and most were in hiding. The man they believed was the promised Messiah and they had followed for three years was dead - along with the hope Jesus had brought.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were both members of the Sanhedrin. They were very likely dissenting votes for conviction at Jesus' trial. That would have raised the eyebrows of many there. Politically the vote alone would cost the two men greatly. Now to come to Pilate and claim the body of Jesus for burial was public statement in support of a cause that had apparently died with Jesus would cost them further.
Joseph and Nicodemus had decided to honor their teacher with more than just what would be called a proper burial. Joseph gave Jesus his own tomb and the quantity of spices brought one commentary I read claims is in the neighborhood of a royal burial. Politically and financially the two men had counted the cost in a very public way.
Word would spread a few days later that the tomb was empty and Jesus had risen from the dead as He had promised. Peter would be restored and Thomas' doubts would be swept away. The faith that the world counts as foolishness has been passed like a flame from one heart and life to another through the years. There is a cost to count. (Luke 25:26). There is a race to win. (1 Cor 9:24) And words of welcome on arriving home that every believer wants to hear.
Matt 25:23 (NIV) His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.