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July 15, 2023



This all happened on Friday, the day of preparation, the day before the Sabbath. As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross, wrapped it in the cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid.

Mark 15:42-47 NLT



There is always a story behind the story. Many could read over this part of the story of Jesus’ death and not pay much attention, but there is a lot to think about here. First, Joseph of Arimathea is a wealthy member of the Jewish high council—known to the Jews as the Sanhedrin. According to the other gospel accounts Joseph had Nicodemus, also a member of the council, as a helper (John 19:38-42). There were probably servants and others who helped as well because the process of preparing a body for burial involved lots of work. Secondly, there must have been some advance planning for this moment. Perhaps Joseph and Nicodemus had read the prophecies and understood that the Messiah had to die. They were prepared for this moment. They had the burial place purchased and the spices were already arranged. They had a plan. Also, Joseph was willing to be bold in this moment. When Jesus’ own disciples deserted Him, it was a Jewish religious leader who stepped up to the plate and chose to go public with his faith in Jesus. Until this moment Joseph and Nicodemus had appeared to be secret believers in Jesus. This act of requesting the body and preparing it for burial was declaring where they placed their faith. It took courage to make the request of Pilate. It took courage to go public with their faith. As followers of Christ we must be willing to be courageous. There will be moments when it will not be comfortable or easy. We must accept the challenge of ridicule or being blocked by certain groups. There is always a cost attached to following Jesus. It is a cost well worth paying.



Holy Spirit please help me to be willing to pay the price to be a follower of Jesus. Help me to trust You as my Protector and Provider.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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I want to be courageous in my faith. I want to also be in tune enough with the Spirit that I am prepared when opportunities come.


Jul 15, 2023

Lord , thank you for your sacrifices. I will unashamedly worship and praise you .

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