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Take Courage

Daily Reading: Mark 15

Scripture Focus: Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15.43)

Devotional Thought: On the day that Jesus was crucified, Joseph of Arimathea retrieved and buried the body of Jesus. Joseph. What was he like?

Of Arimathea… Not from Jerusalem, perhaps Joseph was not seduced by the power of that religious center. As we see in politics today, it is easy for people to fall prey to the intoxicating effects of power.

Respected and Religious… When duty called, Joseph answered. He came through the ranks of service and leadership until he found himself in a position of influence in the Jewish community. There is much to be said of doing our part, of faithfully filling a role because it needs to be done.

Seeker after Truth… Though he was faithful in the organization, Joseph was looking for something more – the Kingdom of God. He didn’t assume that the human organization was the be-all, end-all. He wanted to make sure that he discovered the truth behind the organization.

Courageous… Since Jesus was executed as a heretic and an insurrectionist, to retrieve the body of Jesus would bring suspicion upon Joseph. He had seen what they had done to Jesus, but he stood courageous in the face of the religious and civil authorities!

Bold… Joseph did not beat around the bush. He knew that what he felt in his heart was right. It would not have been right to leave the body of Jesus on the cross. He went right ‘to the top’ and asked Pilate for the body.

May we learn from and live like Joseph of Arimathea!

Prayer: Father, how can we ever thank you enough for the gift of your Son? Grant us courage this day that we may honor Jesus through our service. Like Joseph, “let us go to Jesus outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.”

Psalm of the Day: 7 But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8 and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. 9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! 12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9.7-12)

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