Secret Disciples

In The Word

Read: Mark 15:42-16:8



The Burial of Jesus

42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

Jesus Has Risen

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomband they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Walking In The Word

In today’s scripture and the parallel accounts, we find two “secret disciples,” Joseph and Nicodemus.

– Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and a prominent member of the Jewish Council who himself had become a disciple of Jesus.
– Nicodemus was the one who came to Him by night. He was a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews. (John 3)

How many of us live our lives as secret disciples? Do the people we work with, our neighbors, or better yet, our own relatives know that we are followers of Christ?

Maybe we had a real encounter with Christ, but that is where our journey has stopped. We never moved beyond that first step in our walk with Him. Maybe we spend time with Him in private, go to church, and even tithe. Maybe we strive to live rightly and not be involved in anything that is wrong, but we are afraid of how others will react. So, we try to follow Him quietly and privately. Jesus said, “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words…the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him.” (Mark 8:38)

Joseph of Arimathea finally decided to move beyond that kind of life. He gathered up courage and stood before Pilate, the Governor, to ask for Jesus’ body. May that be an example for us today! May we no longer live as secret disciples, but may we be bold and courageous. (Romans 1:16)

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