Joseph of Arimathea was a good and righteous man “looking for the Kingdom of God.” As a member of the Jewish high council, he was most likely there when the other religious leaders chose how they would deal with their “Jesus problem.” I can imagine how powerless he felt. How do you fight a rising tide?
What I find intriguing about Joseph is that the Scripture says, “He did not agree with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders.” It does not say he fought them, argued with them or rallied many to oppose them. Instead, Joseph chose a different path. It put him at great personal risk, but made an incredibly strong statement about his faith and beliefs. He chose to go to Pilate himself, the man who only the day before had Jesus crucified. Joseph then asked for the body of Jesus. Who’s to say that Pilate wouldn’t choose to crucify one more Jew this weekend, especially as it appeared that he had Jesus crucified for nothing.
And then Joseph placed the body of Jesus in his own family tomb. Can you imagine what those other Jewish leaders would have thought? What kind of statement that would have made? The idea that Joseph would do this for a man they just had crucified must have appalled and angered them. Maybe he would lose his place on the Council for this outwardly rebellious, yet quiet, action.
This gave me pause. There are times to make big public statements, to join a cause or publicly protest. But there is also a place for relationship, meeting one-on-one, challenging someone, taking a moment to invest in a relationship and have difficult conversations. You may agree to disagree, but a seed has been planted.
I have often felt that I am not public or vocal enough with my faith. But when I enter my workplace, often as the only Jesus follower, I have the incredible opportunity to be Jesus to those around me. Though I am an extrovert and not afraid to speak my mind, sometimes I don’t shout my faith from the mountaintops. Instead I choose to act like Joseph. Sometimes, the one-on-one approach has the greatest impact.
Married to Scott. Say no more and just begin praying for her!