“Then he (Joseph of Arimathea) bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen.” Mark’s Gospel chapter 15 verse 46.
You will have read this verse yesterday concerning the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. After all the wicked things suffered by Jesus, men thought it was over when He died. They did not realise in 3 days again He would rise from the dead, a triumphant Saviour.
But something wonderful happened to Joseph of Arimathea on that sad day. Joseph was an honourable man, wealthy and respected but he was a secret disciple of Jesus – until that day. Everything changed when he saw the Suffering Saviour on the cross, suffering in his place and for him.
Joseph, although a rich man went to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus. Then with another secret disciple, Nicodemus, they lovingly took down the body of Jesus from the cross, wrapped it in linen cloths and laid the body of Jesus in his own new tomb.
What made the difference? It was the cross. As Paul would write to Christian later “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians chapter 6 verse 4.
May we today thank God for the cross and be helped to take our stand with the Saviour, once rejected, but now risen and returning.
Upon that cross of Jesus, my eye at times can see
the very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
and from my broken heart, with tears, two wonders I confess:
the wonders of His glorious love, and my unworthiness.
(Elizabeth Clephane 1830-1869)