April 07, 2012

Following Boldly

Mark 15:42-47

Joseph … who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.
—Mark 15:43


Funerals are sad times. Often our grief is made greater by our regrets. “Why didn’t I make that phone call to Dad?” “Why didn’t I tell Mom more often that I loved her?”

Today’s Scripture verses that describe Jesus’ burial are important because they are solid evidence that Jesus truly died. He was neither unconscious nor in a coma. Both the centurion and Pilate would want proof positive that he was dead. Our salvation rests on this. “Christ … suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death …” (1 Peter 3:18).

Joseph was a prominent member of the religious leaders’ council who had not consented to their decision to have Jesus crucified (Luke 23:50-51). But the deed was done. Many would have thrown up their hands and said, “I did what I could,” and gone on with life.

But Joseph resolved to do more. He “went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” He sought permission to bury Jesus, and he buried him in the grave he had prepared for himself (Matthew 27:60).

Dear friends, it is true that Jesus died, but it is also true that he rose again. It’s not too late to come boldly to Jesus and trust him as the only one who can remove your sins and give you new life. Follow the living Lord, and make every day the best day of your life.

Lord, even as we stand in the shadow of the cross, we already rejoice in the hope that today can be the best day of our life. Thanks be to God! Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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