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A systematic reading of the Scriptures, portioned to complement your daily time spent with God.
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A weekly pastoral letter to minister to young adults, inspired by the grace of God.
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John 19:16-42 "TWO SECRET DISCIPLES"
Day 324 – John 19
TWO SECRET DISCIPLES
As the body of Jesus was brought down, a question arose. Who would be there to receive that precious and sacred body? Who had wealth enough to offer Him a tomb?
Two Disciples who had been in the wings suddenly came to the rescue. These were prominent and wealthy Disciples, albeit secret ones, thus far.
“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a
disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the
Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the
body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission.
So he came and took the body of Jesus.”
WHO WAS JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA?
All four Gospel writers mentioned Joseph of Arimathea. Let us read what Matthew wrote about him.
“Now when evening had come, there came a
rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who
himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.”
Mark contributed another insight concerning Joseph of Arimathea.
“Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council
member, who was himself waiting for the
kingdom of God, coming and taking courage,
went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”
Luke had this to say about Joseph of Arimathea,
“Now behold, there was a man named Joseph,
a council member, a good and just man. He
had not consented to their decision and deed.
He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews,
who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen,
and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock,
where no man had ever lain before.”
Let us now take a look at what the prophet Isaiah wrote concerning the burial of Jesus! Yes, even that was covered in Biblical prophecy!
“He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave (read “death”) with the wicked –
But with the rich at His death (read “grave”-
a play on words)
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth”
God had taken care of every detail! On the human side, Joseph of Arimathea found the courage to stand up for his faith in Jesus! He was a secret Disciple no more! He would use his wealth and position to do something for Jesus, albeit a little late! If he could not save him from a cruel death, he could at least give him a decent burial! He would lie in his own personal tomb!
On the divine side, we see another prophecy was fulfilled! He had died with the wicked! He was now going to be buried with the rich! All these things must compel even greater faith in God and in the Scriptures!
NICODEMUS, THE TEACHER OF ISRAEL
John first introduced Nicodemus as the well-known teacher of Israel. He had come to Jesus in the night for a deep theological discussion (John 3). He had once attempted to temper the judgment of his friends and colleagues who were bent on destroying Jesus (John 7:50-51). This same Nicodemus, also stood up and assisted Joseph of Arimathea in the burial of Jesus.
“And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by
night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh
and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they
took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips
of linen with the spices, as the custom of the
Jews is to bury.”
John was the only Gospel writer who mentioned Nicodemus by name. His contribution was not to be lightly dismissed! His part meant that he too was no longer a secret Disciple! He identified himself with Joseph of Arimathea, but more importantly, he identified himself with Jesus of Nazareth!
What did Nicodemus say to Jesus when he first came to Him?
“Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come
from God; for no one can do these signs that
You do unless God is with Him.”
Nicodemus had found the new birth Jesus spoke about (John 3:3, 7). He had found genuine faith in Jesus. The least he could do was to take care of the burial details!