John 19:38-4238 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
Have you ever been secretly a follower of something? Maybe you like a show that really doesn't make sense that you would like it? You know maybe you secretly dvr the young and restless. Obviously there are a lot of things people do in secret that do not bring glory to the Lord and it is obvious why they would desire that to be a secret. But in this scripture we find Joseph who is a secret disciple of Jesus Christ. Secret because He would have lost everything He had to openly be a disciple of Jesus. In fact we see in the scripture many who did just that, left their vocations and became identified as a disciple of Jesus Christ, losing all they had. Joseph was a disciple, hold on before you argue that point because you do not get to determine if he was a disciple, it says it in the scripture, "being a disciple of Jesus," that is what I call, clear talk. You don't have to wonder, it says he was a disciple, it also says he was a secret disciple. Why was he a secret disciple? The answer is also in the Word of God, because he feared the Jews. You know the saying birds of a feather flock together? Well look who is Joseph's running mate, Nicodemus. Nicodemus first followed Jesus by night! Nicodemus he too was a secret disciple. But when we start to say that these guys somehow missed what following Jesus was all about read the rest of the story. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. I wonder how that conversation went between him and Nicodemus. Fear of the Jews is one thing, but fear of Pilate would have been at a whole new level. I have thought about this and I am not sure of everyone who was present at the crucifixion of Jesus, we have been given a few details, but it would be plausible to to believe that many of the individuals that secretly followed Jesus could have been at the Crucifixion. After all, they were secretly His disciples. I don't believe Joseph and Nicodemus were the only secret disciples. So it is safe to say that at the Crucifixion there were others who secretly believed Jesus was the Messiah. But Joseph and Nicodemus did not remain secret disciples. When Joseph went to Pilate and Nicodemus came bringing 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes, they were no longer secret disciples. They were shouting from the roof tops who and what they believed. Their time had come. You see sometimes we want to take the pen from our Lord's hand and write the script of our lives, but that means you play the role of Lord. Every time you play the role of Lord you lose. These two men at their time stepped forward and did the work of the kingdom in a beautiful way. We cannot question these men secret discipleship. The Lord had a purpose for them. Now, I know we cannot deny our Lord Jesus Christ. I one hundred percent understand that and will never say that it is alright to do that. The scripture is clear on that, but I will tell you that Joseph and Nicodemus worked through their fear and became more bold than they ever thought they find the courage to be. It happened when they abandoned self and focused solely on Jesus. That is exactly what they did, they abandoned self and focused solely on Jesus. This Jesus focus put them before Pilate. The disciples that openly followed Jesus, where were they? They were scattered, why? Because they were focused on self and self preservation. The result, run, run for your lives. Where are you today? Are you a secret follower of Jesus and having to muster up the strength and boldness to stand before Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus? Or are you a scattered disciple who has followed Jesus for a long time but now the time has come to stand up and fight, but all you seem to be doing is running as fast as you can away from the responsibility of following Jesus. It stops today! Stop Drop And Roll, Get up and Run head on TO your collision with Pilate. Allow Jesus to be Lord, allow your courage to come from Him. Fear is not of the Lord and you are stronger than you think, more powerful than you give yourself credit. You have the Holy Spirit. Did you hear me? You have the Holy Spirit, go LIVE LIVE LIVE!!!!