Holy Week Day 7: The Secret Disciple

“It is finished! It is finished!” The angels must have shouted with joy in Heaven knowing in that moment the whole world can now be saved!

The Son of God had the victory; He had died to make payment, and through Him all flesh might die and live eternally.

 As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. {John 17:2}

The work was complete;  the world was saved!

Jesus died
But, let’s not leave Him on that Cross.

Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man and a member of the Sanhedrin, went boldly to Pilate and begged for Jesus’ body that he might bury it.  He was just a man, he was an honorable member of the council, yet what I find interesting is that here is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all join in telling us the sacred act of Joseph.

These men, these disciples, left Jesus to suffer and as in an act of forgiveness and humility they pen words of possibly the agony they felt  knowing it was Joseph of Arimathea, the secret disciple, asking for the Lord’s body and not one of them. All His outspoken disciples suddenly had nothing to say and fled; all had forsaken Him, some had denied Him, and Judas betrayed Him; and it was left for Joseph of Arimathea to go to Pilate, and himself alone, surround our Savior.

It was the death of Jesus that brought out Joseph of Arimathea, the secret disciple.

May we never be secret Christians.

May we live for Him.

May we be an extension of His voice.

This is the least we can do.

Pilate gives orders to make sure that Jesus is dead.

Roman soldiers head towards Calvary and Joseph with some servants following behind them.

We see them standing at the Cross and a soldier just goes up and pierces the Son of God’s side with a spear, and the prophecy from Zechariah was settled:

In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. {Zechariah 13:1}

The soldier drives it in, and His blood covers the spear.

Yes, Christ’s blood covered sin.

Yes, God, in mercy, covered sin.

Now, Joseph and Nicodemus take down His body and you see the act of Love take place.

Washing the blood from His head only to find a blood-stained cloth richly-soiled with grace.

They draw those nails out carefully from His hands – from His feet, and they take that mangled and bruised body down and wash it.

Wash Him. Every drop of blood removed. 

Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.{Isaiah 1:18}

At this moment the roaring wind, which had been going all evening, had nearly grabbed everyone's attention.

But know this, it is only the wind. 

The devil doesn't want you to hear this story of Jesus’ dying love for you; he doesn't want you to hear and be saved.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {Romans 10:9}

Give attention to the scene before you.

The washing of blood from a broken body. 

The nails stained with blood.

A crown that has mangled flesh for hours.

Let the wind go, but the scene of the Cross stay.

We see them take the body down and wrap Him in fine linen.

We see Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, another secret disciple, anoint our Savior’s body with ointment, and then the procession to the tomb.

A stone cut from that rock, and there our Jesus lay that day.

We know Sunday is coming.  Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus only heard.

Is His dying for us enough?

Is it enough for us to say from the rooftops, “He died for you and for me!”

Is it enough to see the act of unending Love given freely to us and a grace that flows from it?

We know Sunday is coming.

But, was Friday enough for us in the silence of Saturday?

The Holy Week Series

Sunday Day One: The Hammer or The Branch

Monday Day Two: The Fig Tree

Tuesday Day Three: The Pharisees

Wednesday Day Four: The Betrayal

Thursday Day Five: The Upper Room

Friday Day Six: The Blood