Job 14:1-14 | Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 | John 19:38-42

“38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” –John 19:38-42

Thoughts on this Text

Two lesser-known characters, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, are examples of what Theologian Sam Wells calls “disciples by night.” These men have day jobs in touchy political situations, and open knowledge of their faith in Christ would threaten their special positions. So instead, Nicodemus approaches Jesus under the cover of darkness to learn from him, and Joseph of Arimathea, who was a member of the jury who convicted Jesus, didn’t show his true allegiance until he offered his personal plot as a burial cave for Jesus’ body.

Can one be a Christian on the quiet? Can one be a ruler by day and worshiper by night?

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