38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.
39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.
40Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.
42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
Personal Reflection and Discussion
Have you ever been afraid to stand up for somebody? At least in public? Did you ever actually take a stand? Is there anyone in your life who needs someone to advocate for them?
- Have you made your funeral arrangements? Or thought about that at all? How would you like to be remembered? What would you like the epithet on your tombstone to be? What changes could you make today to impact the way people around you remember you when that day comes?
- Can you remember a moment or a season in life or an event or a time when you became a committed follower of Jesus? What would it take to move you to being a more devoted follower of Jesus? What keeps you from being, what Tim Searcy described as, “All In?”
- With all of the “bad press” that the Pharisees get, it is important to note that the two men with the courage to ask to bury Jesus were Pharisees! Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They were both “Secret Disciples of Jesus” – but it was a secret no more! Mark tells us Joseph went “boldly” to Pilate.
- Note: A “never-used tomb” meant that it was “fit for a king.” Only Matthew tells us it was Joseph’s own tomb. Once again we are told that it is Friday, “the day before the Sabbath.”
- Why do you think they were disciples “in secret”?
- Why would they risk everything now?
- When do you think Nicodemus became a believer?
- Joseph offered Jesus his own, very expensive tomb. How does this influence your understanding of generosity? Do you think Joseph waited “too long” to be generous? How can you be sure that you are not “waiting to be generous, until________?”
What do you think Jesus’ disciples are doing during this time since they are not even mentioned by John?
Jesus, Joseph and Nicodemus boldly went to Pilate and shared with him their care for Jesus as they wanted to give him a proper burial. God, make me strong and courageous! Sometimes I am guilty of being a “secret disciple” of yours, acknowledging you in my private life but not proclaiming you in my public life. Make me strong and courageous! Sometimes I am only generous when I am financially comfortable, not showing sacrificial generosity. Make me strong and courageous! Thank you for being strong and courageous! Not only were you strong enough to save, not only did you rise from the grave, but you stayed pure, becoming the clean and unblemished lamb needed to save the world! I love you! Amen.
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: fear | Transliterated Word: Phobos
Alarm or Fright; – awe, fear, respect, reverence terror.
Family Engagement Activity
As a family, be bold. Give sacrificially today. Some ideas include giving up screen time to make someone a card or making some cookies for someone who might be down and out. With permission from the neighbor, mow their lawn before mowing yours. Clean their car before cleaning yours (if they allow it). Make them an amazing dinner and you eat the leftovers.
Going Activities To Consider
Today, give sacrificially today.