August 8 2014
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[ DATE : 2014-08-23 ]
   Preparation for Resurrection   Mark 15:42-47
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It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached,
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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.
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Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died.
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When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.
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So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
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Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV ®. COPYRIGHT ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Secret Disciple (15:42–46)
The account of Joseph of Arimathea is included in all four Gospels. He is the man responsible for taking the dead, limp body of Christ and placing it in a tomb. Who is he? We do not know much about him or even where Arimathea is, but he plays a key role in the Gospel narrative by moving the body of Jesus to prepare Him for the resurrection. Luke 23 reports that he is a good and upright man. He is a member of the Sanhedrin who, like Nicodemus, secretly followed Jesus. He uses his position and influence to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. His connections to Pilate allow him to have Jesus buried in a tomb built for himself. Joseph even lets himself become unclean under Mosaic law by touching a dead body, demonstrating his devotion to Jesus.

What does your faith cost you? Sometimes, our faith in Christ carries a high price. Joseph used his influence to obtain Christ’s body, sacrificed his own tomb and money, and was probably shunned by his peers.

A Woman’s Perspective (15:47)
The accuracy of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection is supported by the fact that women were key witnesses to these events. If the events were fabricated, no one would have included women in the story as, in ancient times, a woman’s testimony was not admissible in court. Their story is important, however, as although these women were powerless to fight the crowds, speak up in Jesus’ defense, or appeal to Pilate, they stayed with the Lord until His death. They were also the first to see His resurrected body. Even when all His disciples had deserted Him, these women stayed faithful to the very end.

You may find yourself without a title, position, or qualifications, but stay faithful and God can use you powerfully. Focus on what you can do for Christ rather than the excuses for what you cannot do.
Lord, I offer all I have to You and ask that You use it for Your glory. Thank you for generously blessing me with gifts and connections that I can use to build up Your church. None of these things would be possible without You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.