Friday 19 October, 2018

Matthew 27:57-61

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

Joseph and the two Marys are peripheral characters in the gospels, but they play incredibly important roles.

Because Joseph cared for and honoured Jesus’ body by placing it in his own tomb, we know for certain that he really did die. Our sins were completely paid for.

Because of the two Marys faithfully following Jesus, and watching, and Mary Magdalene coming back to the tomb early on the Sunday, we know for certain that Jesus rose from the dead. Death has been completely defeated.

It was Joseph who took a huge risk in going to Pilate and asking for Jesus’ body when Jesus disciples ran away. It was Mary Magdalene who went looking for Jesus when the disciples were hiding. She is the one who alerted them that Jesus was no longer in his grave. It was to her that the risen Jesus first showed himself.

None of them knew the significance of what they were doing. But because of them, we have certainty about the most significant event in history.

Jesus, I want to honour you like Joseph. I want to follow you like the two Marys. I want to be faithful to you like they were. Take my small acts of faithfulness and use them in the truly significant things that you are doing.

Written by David Cornell

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