Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. John 19:38, 39.
Neither Joseph nor Nicodemus had openly accepted the Saviour while He was living. They knew that such a step would exclude them from the Sanhedrin, and they hoped to protect Him by their influence in its councils. For a time they had seemed to succeed; but the wily priests, seeing their favor to Christ, had thwarted their plans. In their absence Jesus had been condemned and delivered to be crucified. Now that He was dead, they no longer concealed their attachment to Him. While the disciples feared to show themselves openly as His followers, Joseph and Nicodemus came boldly to their aid….
Nicodemus, when he saw Jesus lifted up on the cross, remembered His words spoken by night in the Mount of Olives: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14, 15).
On that Sabbath, when Christ lay in the grave, Nicodemus had opportunity for reflection. A clearer light now illuminated his mind, and the words which Jesus had spoken to him were no longer mysterious. He felt that he had lost much by not connecting himself with the Saviour during His life. Now he recalled the events of Calvary. The prayer of Christ for His murderers and His answer to the petition of the dying thief spoke to the heart of the learned councilor. Again he looked upon the Saviour in His agony; again he heard that last cry, “It is finished,” spoken like the words of a conqueror. Again he beheld the reeling earth, the darkened heavens, the rent veil, the shivered rocks, and his faith was forever established.
The very event that destroyed the hopes of the disciples convinced Joseph and Nicodemus of the divinity of Jesus. Their fears were overcome by the courage of a firm and unwavering faith.
Conflict and Courage p. 328
—–I am requesting prayer for my husband. He will be preaching my grandmother’s funeral tomorrow morning. It is a touchy situation spiritually. He needs the Spirit to give him the Words of Life, this will not be a normal funeral. There will be agnostics, wiccans, baptists, mostly people who are angry at God for different reasons. And an Adventist preaching. I just want glory to be brought to God and hearts to be touched for Him! Tricia
—–Please pray for a little girl and her step-brother who are doing things which ought not to be done. Pray for the mother that she will have wisdom and strength to deal with the situation. anonymous
—–Julie, mother of two young children, is one of those for she was just discovered to have an inoperable brain tumor. Her parents visited her in June and she was fine and then this week she started having seizures. Thank you for your prayers! Nancy
When Eileen was three, we lived in a house trailer on the side of a hill in rural Pennsylvania. A large field with about ten cows in it was within a few feet of our front door. From our front window, we could see the tiny community at the bottom of the hill, fields and forests beyond, and of course those cows. Eileen enjoyed standing at the window watching them and talking to them. They must have liked the attention we gave them, because they seemed to spend most of their time near our trailer. Unfortunately, so many swarms of flies were attracted to those animals that we could not enjoy being outside because the moment we opened the door, flies would be buzzing around our heads and landing on us. Only in the winter after the flies were gone, could Eileen really enjoy playing outside.
Just as those swarms of flies told that there were cows nearby, so our influence have a big impact for good of for ill. By our influence we can lead those around us to stay on the right path or to stray from it. One little word can cause someone around us to start down the path that leads to destruction. Solomon’s proverb is as true today as it was when he uttered it. “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor.” Ecc 10:1 Our words and actions tell what is in our heart. Our Dear Saviour says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:34-37
How important that we daily give our heart to Jesus, that we may exert a right influence on those with whom we come in contact. Jesus, when He was upon this earth, had an attraction the drew people to Him. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38 When He was near, people felt loved, they felt accepted, they felt convicted of their sins and desired to change for the better, to do those things which please Him. (1 John 3:22)
Our Dear Saviour’s loving and kind influence was in direct contrast to that of the religious leaders who bound “heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and laid them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves would not move them with one of their fingers.” Matt 23:4 Jesus visited people in their homes, bringing them both physical and spiritual healing. He walked their streets, pressed in by crowds of people all wanting to see Him, all wanting to touch Him. Even though most were there only for the excitement, or for the blessings He could bestow, He never turned them away. His influence even caused His enemies to marvel. When spies were sent to catch Him in His words, they declared, ” ‘Master, thou hast well said.’ And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.” Luke 20:39,40 When officers were sent to arrest Him, they returned to the Pharisees with the report, “Never man spake like this man.” John 7:46
May our influence lead others to our Dear Redeemer, drawing them closer to Him, that they may accept His free gift of salvation. May we daily pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Ps 19:14