4.11.2020 What Happened on Saturday?
Jesus' body lay in its tomb, where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath. When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ's body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus:
"He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus' body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth." (John 19: 39-40, NLT)
Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court that had condemned Jesus Christ to death. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith because of their prominent positions in the Jewish community.
Similarly, both were deeply affected by Christ's death. They boldly came out of hiding, risking their reputations and their lives because they had come to realize that Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah. Together they cared for Jesus' body and prepared it for burial.
While his physical body lay in the tomb, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for sin by offering the perfect, spotless sacrifice. He conquered death, both spiritually and physically, securing our eternal salvation:
"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God." (1 Peter 1:18-19, NLT)
This stood out to me: “For a time, both men (Nicodemus & Joseph) had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public profession of faith but now they boldly came out of hiding!”
I ponder today how many of us have been “hiding”—afraid to make a public confession of our faith? Afraid of what people will think….afraid of being rejected or made fun of. Afraid people wouldn’t like us anymore—that they would think I had “gone off the deep end of religion!”
Yet, this whole experience changed Nicodemus & Joseph completely—has it changed us as well? Can we publicly confess/profess our faith in Christ?
Luke 12:7-9 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, everyone who confesses me before men, the Son of Man (Christ) will also confess him before the angels of God. 9But whoever denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.…
Prayer: Father God, forgive us for not professing our faith publicly—in the marketplace, even with our families, friends & neighbors. Your word says that faith comes by hearing (testimony of believers) and hearing the Word of God. How are unbelievers going to hear if we are in hiding and afraid to speak about it?
Do remove our fear of man & fear of rejection & give us the outspoken faith & boldness to share with others what we believe! May we do so not to boast or belittle others but to share with them what has been given us ----this new, precious life & hope!
May we also confess Romans 5:5: “And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Father, thank you for pouring your love into us—and may we now let that love pour out of us to others…..In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen