38 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. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.—John 19:38-42 (NASB)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
After the death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea asked for permission to take the body and bury it. Joseph was a man wealthy enough to have his own tomb dug for him. He was also a member of the Sanhedrin, as was Nicodemus. Nicodemus was wealthy enough to purchase the hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes, both of which were very expensive items in that day. It would have taken someone influential and well-known to approach Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus. Though they were both influential and wealthy men, they were both secret disciples of Jesus because they feared both the Romans and the other Jewish leaders. They could have been imprisoned (as Joseph was in later years), beaten or sentenced to death. The question we need to ask ourselves today is this: “What are the fears that keep us from openly serving Jesus?” What keeps us from telling family, friends and neighbors about Jesus?
7 The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9 He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” 11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”—John 19:7-11 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Which of the laws had Jesus broken that He should be sentenced to death? Yes, it was against the law to blaspheme the name of God or to lie, but Jesus was, in fact, God and the Son of God just as He claimed, He had done neither. The crowd says that Jesus claimed to be the “King of the Jews” and, in fact, He was all that and more. This claim seemed to bother Pilate quite a bit. He had already said that he finds Jesus not guilty under the Roman law and Pilate has no concern about the Jewish laws. He is still looking for a way to release Jesus without upsetting the crowd. How many of us are guilty of wanting to serve Jesus as long as it is popular and doesn’t upset the crowds? We go to church and we feel safe in discussing our belief in Jesus Christ. But what happens when we are back out in the world again? If our other people’s opinions of us are more important than what Jesus knows about us, then we are guilty of idol worship. We have placed others above God in our lives. This is a sin and we need to repent. It is time that we believed that what Jesus said about Himself to Pilate is also true for us. “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above”. If we truly believe that nothing and no one has any power over us unless God allows them to have it then we should be mighty warriors for our Lord and Savior. If we truly believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God, then why don’t we love Him back with everything we are and have? God the Holy Spirit is God and God is Perfect Love and He dwells inside us. His desire is that we be fearless.
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.—1 John 4:18 (NLT)