Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:42-47, Matthew 27:57-61, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42, Matthew 27:62-66, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:9-11, John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:8-15
Two years ago I was in full-on risk mode.
- Stepping of my comfort zone
- Going on an adventure
- Taking a chance
I was doing what I believed God had spoken to me to do.
But my risk was nothing compared to the risk of Joseph of Arimathea…
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.) -Mark 15:42-43 (emphasis mine)
Up until this point Joseph had been a secret disciple of Jesus. He was a wealthy member of the Sanhedrin (the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews headed by a High Priest and having religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction). But on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion he gathered his courage and went to Pilate boldly. His action was risky because:
- He was not related to Jesus
- His request was a favor that would likely be denied on principle since Jesus had been executed for treason
- He risked ceremonial defilement in handling a dead body
- His request amounted to an open confession of personal loyalty to the crucified Jesus which would doubtless incur his associates’ hostility
(The Bible Knowledge Commentary)
He was a secret disciple no longer…
Joseph was part of God’s plan. He didn’t just “suddenly” get the idea to do this, it demanded much preparation. Had Joseph not acted boldly, the body of Jesus might have been disposed of like rubbish.
It was important that Jesus’ body be prepared for burial so that the empty grave-clothes could be left behind in the tomb (John 20:1–10). Also, the way He was buried fulfilled prophecy (Isa. 53:9). The fact that He was buried is proof that Jesus actually died on the cross, for the Roman officials would not have released the body without proof that Jesus was dead. (The Bible Exposition Commentary)
The Holy Spirit prompted Joseph to go to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body, but at some point he had to step up and do it. It’s the same with us today. The Holy Spirit will urge or nudge us to step out or speak out for Jesus, but it will never happen unless we act on it.
Two and a half years ago I received an email from an organization I’ve been a part of for over fifteen years. This email was announcing the 2010 Writer’s Conference. When I read the announcement, something inside of me said, “You should go.”
I dismissed the thought for several reasons:
- I’ve only been writing for a couple of years
- It’s a big financial investment
- This is a professional writer’s conference and I’m just a beginner
- I’m not really clear on God’s plan for me beyond this year
- I’m not even sure God wants me to be a “writer”
A month or so passed and I mentioned it to my husband, who is my greatest fan and cheerleader. He said, “You have to go!” For a few weeks I tried to talk him out of it; told him every reason I could think of why I shouldn’t go…
I prayed about it and asked the Lord to dismiss it from my mind if I wasn’t supposed to go. Just the opposite happened. It was constantly on my mind. I really felt like God spoke to me to go. So I registered, paid my money, and bought a plane ticket.
As I shared my plans with family and friends I kept apologizing for going. Saying things like:
- I don’t know why I’m going
- I’m not a real writer
- I shouldn’t be spending the money
I heard the Holy Spirit speak loudly, “Dianne, you need to stop saying and thinking these things. I set this up. It’s a divine appointment. Go with excitement and expectation!”
So that it what I did! I took a risk. But is not really a risk when God encourages you. It’s an act of obedience.
God used that Conference to point me in the direction of my next season of ministry. It changed my life. I’m so glad I took a risk and said, “yes” to God.
Joseph took a risk that fulfilled prophesy that is still talked about today.
What risk is God calling you to take today?
Step out in obedience and take it, it could change the world forever!
Heavenly Father, use us for Your Glory and Your Kingdom. Speak loudly Holy Spirit. Give us the boldness and confidence to step out!
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-43, Mark 16:12-13, John 20:19-23, Mark 16:14, John 20:24-21:25, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49