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Mark 274 - Boldness Created Risk

Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.

Mark 15:43

We all have met what I call “Pop-Up People.” These are people that “pop-up” into our lives. They come from out of nowhere, pop into our lives, and then leave just as quickly. And when they pop-up, they make a mark that we’ll remember for a long time.

This is exactly who Joseph of Arimathea was. He’s a pop-up person in the life of Jesus. Actually that’s wrong because he doesn’t pop-up in Jesus' life. He doesn't pop-up until after Jesus is dead.

My guess is that this Joseph was a quiet kind of guy. Yes, he was a prominent member of the Jewish Council, but he didn’t travel to listen to, or have a conversation with Jesus. Yes, he was waiting for the kingdom of God, but was doing it quietly. Privately.

After all, he had his reputation to think about. What would happen if people found out? What would happen if his friends and fellow Council members found out? What would they say? What would they do? What would they post on social media? What alarming and spicy videos would they send across the internet?

Why else would he secretly be a disciple of Jesus? And what would his reason for that? He feared the Jewish leaders[1].

And yet, this quiet, unassuming guy goes boldly to Pilate. Now remember, Pilate was not just some local-yokel official. He had all the power and authority of a cruel Roman government. He also had an army at his disposal.

But Joseph does something more than boldly go in. He doesn’t stop there. He takes the next step – he speaks up. And he does more than just speak up. He asks for something. He asks for the body of Jesus.

When Joseph went boldly to Pilate, he clearly understood the risks. He knew the possible, catastrophic physical and reputation consequences. Yet, he was willing to put his fear behind because of the fruit that was in front of him. And that fruit wasn’t an interview on national television. Or even on a popular podcast.

By itself, this was a wildly unusual request. After all, who in their right mind would ask for the body of a convicted and executed criminal? By asking for the body, he was telling Pilate, the Council, and the world that he was more than just a passing friend of Jesus. Only family members and the closest of friends ask for the body. He was telling the world that his once “secret disciple” status was changed forever.

So, how about you? What’s your status with Jesus? Are you a “secret disciple” like Joseph of Arimathea? Are you looking for the kingdom of God? Are you looking out for Jesus?

And with all our looking, are we willing to show up? We know what’s in our hearts, but are we willing to take that knowledge and energize it into visibly showing up? It’s one thing to think it, but it’s another thing entirely to identify with Jesus by showing up.

And after showing up, are we willing to speak up? Are we willing to take that last step of courage? That last step of faith? Are we ready to open our mouth? What’s holding you back?

We talk about what we love. Who we love. It motivates us. It energizes us. It makes us turn away from other things. Other people. It constrains us to act and speak about what’s more important. Who’s more important. The Apostle Paul experienced this.

But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 18:5

So, what are you focused on? Who are you focused on? What thoughts fill your mind day and night? Where are you spending your precious emotional energy on? When you answer those questions, then you absolutely know what’s the most important things and people in your life.

And then you need to ask the other important question. But are you’re afraid to?

That question is, are they worth it? Do they deserve to have that hold over you? Have they earned that place of honor in your life, or have you surrendered it without thinking about it? Surrendered it without a fight?

It’s time to be bold and take risks. Be bold and take risks for Jesus. Right now.

[1] John 19:38


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