TOPIC: An Enduring Ministry Of Love
READ: Matthew 27:57-66 (NKJV)
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.
When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,
saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’
“Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him [away,] and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make [it] as secure as you know how.”
So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
This passage contains important lessons on the enduring ministry of love of some followers of Jesus. Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and some other women followed Jesus from Galilee, supporting His ministry from their resources (verse 61;Mark 15:40-41). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were leaders of their society and secret disciples of Jesus (verse 57;John 19:38-40). Joseph had opposed the decision of the Council to arrest and execute Jesus, but could not stop it (Luke 23:50-51). He boldly got permission from Pilate, took the body of Jesus and buried it in his own tomb, assisted by Nicodemus (verses 58-60; John 19:38-40).
Beloved, let your ministry of love for the Lord be evident at all times, even during periods of adversity. Joseph of Arimathea and others showed love to Jesus even when Jesus was dead and seemingly ‘unable’ to reward them. Hence, continually do good for the progress of God’s work even when it seems as if you are not going to receive anything from God or men. Do not be like some of the Jewish leaders who continually opposed the ministry of Jesus, They sealed the tomb, posted soldiers to guard it and bribed the guards to spread a false report about the resurrection (Matthew 28:11-15). May we never place ourselves in opposition to the Gospel of Christ. Show love to your Pastor and fellow brethren.
PRAYER: O Lord, may I love You always and show it in all I say and do. Amen.