May 24th, 2018 — IGNITE

Ok, so you’ve listened to me a good many times, and over the years you may have noticed that I’ve shared some things that “jumped off the page” at me, using my terminology. I still am amazed, after having read the Bible from front to back… from Genesis to Revelation… from the Index to the maps… 30+ times, that there are things I’ve never noticed before. I found another one today.

As I was reading about the burial of Jesus from Mark 15, I saw some words I don’t ever remember reading before. But before I share them with you, let me fill you in on what’s happening.

It’s Friday, and Jesus has just taken His last breath on the cross. It’s late in the afternoon, approaching the evening hour. Know please know that in the Jewish time frame days are from from evening to evening – not 12 midnight to 12 midnight. So, because Saturday is the Sabbath day and no work can be done, whatever is going to happen with Jesus body must happen before Friday ends and Saturday begins that night.

Now, here’s what the Bible tells us…
“Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God…” Mark 15:43

This Joseph, who may have been on the fence as to whether Jesus was the real Messiah or not, must have witnessed the crucifixion and must have been convicted into believing Jesus was who He said He was.

He’s concern then turned to getting Jesus body down from the cross before the day was over and the Sabbath day began. But how would he do that? He’d have to expose himself as a Jesus sympathizer, a Jesus believer. Others might see him. His own Council members might turn on him or perceive him as a traitor.

This was not premeditated. He wasn’t at the Council meetings that were held the night before, thinking he was going to take Jesus’ body down from the cross after he died. But somebody had to do something. But what would the ramifications of such a move do? What kind of consequences would he face?

And then here’s the words I’ve never noticed before…
“… and he gathered up courage…” Mark 15:43

“… he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.” Mark 15:43

I don’t ever remember reading those words before, but boy did they smack me in the face today. I don’t know how he did it, but something inside of Joseph rose up and he made a decision, one that might have been very costly, but at that moment he didn’t care anymore and he gathered up courage.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: I don’t know what kind of decisions you are faced with making today, but TAKE COURAGE. Go ahead and take it. God has given it to you, but you need to take it. Don’t count the cost., just do the right thing!

I receive Your encouragement today that will give me courage. Jesus in Your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen