A Sympathetic Funeral Director

Bruce Hoffman

READ : Luke 23:50-56

Joseph of Arimethea was a member of the ruling Jewish government of Jesus’ day known as the Sanhedrin. While the powers of its members were limited due to Roman rule, they were enemies of Jesus because He continually challenged established religious practices. Joseph had a deep admiration for Jesus. When Jesus died, it was Joseph (Matthew says he was rich) who acted as funeral director and gave the remains of Jesus a respectable burial. Perhaps Mary was too poor to provide for a burial . . . so Joseph acted benevolently. We commend him!

It took courage to do what Joseph did! What would his Sanhedrin friends say when they found out he had opened his own grave for Jesus’ body? He might be removed from office or simply avoided. Courage to do what is right (and pay the consequences) is something the Christian is called to do in a God-hating world.

Yet, while Joseph acted courageously after Christ died, how much greater would be our admiration for him if he had had the courage to take a stand for Christ while He was alive! John says that Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus (John 19:38). Jesus does not need secret admirers. He needs those who take a stand for Him at every opportunity.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us to be bold witnesses for You in a world full of animosity toward the Christian faith. In His name, we pray for courage. Amen.