Reading: Luke 23:50-56
And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. [NASB1995®]
There is an expression that says, “Actions speak louder than words.” It is a way of saying that in crucial situations is where it becomes apparent who we actually are. The quality of our faith becomes evident at the time of testing.
And look at these people that Luke tells us about…
The Moment: Jesus has been killed. Unjustly accused. Who would want to identify with him? Who would want to stay at His side? It is a dangerous moment and one of great uncertainty. The authorities have displayed extreme hatred of Jesus, and being recognized as one of Jesus’ disciples could come at a great cost. Fear and hopelessness abound. The Master has left them. Jesus, who with his gestures and words had reignited hope and faith in the God of Israel is no longer there.
The Reaction: Despite the danger Joseph of Arimatea exposes himself. He does so by not agreeing with the death of Jesus and even more so by going to Pilate and asking for the body of the Lord to give Him a respectful burial. The women are also examples of love and faith in preparing spices and perfumes. Even in the midst of pain and hopelessness, they continue to show love for the Lord.
We know that after the Sabbath the Lord will no longer be in that tomb and they will not be able to use those spices. But although Jesus has spoken to them, it is not so easy to believe it. Today they have witnessed the Master’s death, and they continue to love.
How beautiful it is to see these gestures, loaded with tenderness! And what a wonder to think about what they are to experience when they see hopelessness turned into victory in the resurrection of the Lord!
MEDITATE: How is our faith demonstrated in moments of anxiety? Is Jesus the one who sustains us?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader