Click here to return to


Lent is a time for Christians to fully examine their relationship with the Lord. Through prayer, sacrifice and service, we develop an understanding of what it means to "take up your cross and follow me." (Mark 8:34) As Christians, we are called to live Christ's life- not to study the life of Jesus and try to be like Him, but actually let Him live through us.

In my own journey this Lent, Our Lord is asking me to fully understand His love. Through several prayer experiences, I hear him calling me to this deeper understanding of His love- not just with my head, but with my heart. And the key to understanding that amazing love is to understand His suffering. My intellect understands that the Lord suffered, but I have never explored His suffering with my heart. His love is greater than His suffering, but how great was that suffering?

I am participating in an independent Threshold Bible Study called People of the Passion by Stephen J. Binz. In this study, I will explore the meaning of discipleship through the people who encounter Jesus during His passion. These people witness and are impacted by the suffering of Jesus. They saw the suffering of our Lord first hand. It is my hope that by going on this journey through their eyes, I will have a better understanding of His suffering and then of His love.

Please know that I am not a scholar. I have no formal education in theology, philosophy or church history. I'm just a regular person trying to make sense of what Jesus is asking me to do- to love like He loves.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 28- Joseph of Arimathea Lays the Body of Jesus in the Tomb

Mark 15: 42-46

When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time.  When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.  Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that he had been hewn out of the rock.  He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Binz gives an explanation of who Joseph of Arimathea was.  He was a member of the Sanhedrin but he was also a follower of Jesus.  But, because of his place in society, he kept his discipleship under wraps out of fear of the Jewish leaders.  Then, once Jesus died, something stirred inside of him.  He couldn't leave Jesus out for the wild beasts and birds of prey to devour.  He needed to give him a proper burial according to the Jewish law.  So, in a risky move, he boldly goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus' body.  He shows the world who he really is- a disciple of Jesus.

I think I can relate to Joseph a little.  My Dad was in the Navy so we moved around a lot.  That meant I was always adjusting to new communities and finding new friends.  With each move, I could start over and reinvent who I was.  I developed a certain social adaptability- like a chameleon.  I could blend in and be who the crowd wanted me to be so as to fit in.  I have taken this skill with me into adulthood.  It has a positive influence in the work place because I can work with just about anybody.  But I haven't always used this skill in a healthy way.  In my 20s, I shed the Christian label.  I was mad at God for the rocky start to life after college and I just wanted to be "normal" and live in the world without so much religion.  We were in a new place so it was easy to reinvent myself sans God.  So I did.  And after so many years, I was miserable.  When I finally decided to go back to church and get involved, I realized where my misery came from.  I was living someone else's life.  I was denying who I really was.  Once I embraced my Christianity and relationship with God, life got a lot better.  It felt good to wear the shoes that were made to fit me.  It's not always easy to be seen in those shoes, but they feel really good on my feet.

I imagine that Joseph felt really good to say who he was.  Even though he may have faced difficult consequences, he wasn't living a lie anymore.  He could embrace Jesus with all of himself.  Binz points out that it must have been a moving experience to take down Jesus' body, wrap it in linen and place it in the tomb.  I imagine so.  He was finally face to face with the man who changed his life.  He no longer watched him from a distance.  He no longer stood with those who hated Jesus.  He was finally caring for his Lord and waiting with the rest of the disciples for the Kingdom of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment