Pastor’s Letter – April 11, 2020 – Holy Week: Joseph’s Tomb

When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

Matthew 27:57-58

Dear Church and Friends,

It’s not often that all four gospels agree. Today’s passage in Matthew 27 is one of those places. Joseph of Arimathaea is recorded in all four gospels and most of the information about Joseph is given. Each of the gospels gives us their own special insight into who he was and what he did. For example:

  • Matthew. We find out that: [1] he is a rich man [2] he lays Jesus in his own new tomb [3] he had the tomb cut out of a rock [4] he rolled the stone into place.
  • Mark. We find out that [1] he waited for the kingdom of God [2] he was an honorable counselor [3] Pilate confirms Joseph’s request by asking a centurion [4] he bought fine linen [5] he rolled the stone into place
  • Luke. We find out that: [1] he did not consent to the Counsel’s action [2] he was waiting for the kingdom of God [3] it was the preparation for the Sabbath.
  • John. We find out that: [1] he was a secret disciple of Jesus [2] he was helped by Nicodemus (another secret disciple) [3] Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes about 100 pounds in weight [4] They both wrapped the body [5] This was done in accordance to Jewish burial customs.

Both Joseph and Nicodemus risked everything to bury Jesus’ body. They revealed themselves to be believers at a time when it was very dangerous to acknowledge Christ. They spent a fortune to make sure that their master had a decent burial and not a pauper’s grave.

Where were the eleven? Why was it that open disciples were hiding and hidden disciples were openly revealing themselves? What are we willing to give up to be identified with our Master.

Music: Though You Slay Me performed by Shane and Shane.

Prayer Requests: Please pray for Robin Tinley and the work of IMB missionaries in South America.

  • Mollie Teegarden. She is in the hospital for psychiatric care. Please pray for her and her family.

Catechism: The Principles of the Christian Religion.

  • Question 62: What is repentance?
  • Answer: Repentance is a gift of God, whereby a godly sorrow is wrought in the heart of the faithful, for offending God their merciful Father by their former transgressions together with a resolution for the time to come, to forsake their former courses and to lead a new life.
  • Question 63: How do you identify new obedience?
  • Answer: A careful endeavor which the faithful have to give unfeigned obedience unto all God’s commandments, according to that measure of strength wherewith God does enable them.

“Grace be with you all. Amen.”

All my best.

Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

Matthew 27:65

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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