What Happens Next?
O Lord, what amazing love You have shown me that I should be called Your beloved childand yet I am!
Read LUKE 23:47-56
 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”  When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.  But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.  Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,  who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.  The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.  Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy do you think Joseph acted as he did?
Every great disaster movie follows a similar pattern in unveiling the responses of key characters. Luke is no different as he zooms in on the witnesses to the crucifixion. The Roman Centurion is mentioned first. Probably part of the guard and a battle-hardened soldier, he was deeply impressed by Jesus, declaring him a “good man” (47). What a reminder that Jesus can impact even the most unlikely “suspect.”
Although a member of the Jewish council and part of the group that put Christ to death, Joseph had not given his consent. He turned conviction into action by asking Pilate for Jesus’ body and taking care of the burial arrangements—which included taking Jesus off the cross (52-54). This is practical action fueled by passion—a potent mix!
Finally the women, heartbroken and intent on playing their part, followed Joseph to the tomb. They had probably heard Jesus’ promises about rising on the third day, so preparing spices and perfume for embalming the body of a potential phenomenon was a major honor. Theirs were servant hearts filled with hope—a precious blend!
Are any of your friends “unlikely suspects” to acknowledge Jesus? Pray for them. Nothing is impossible for God!
Lord, just as You moved that soldier to see who You are, move the hearts of those I pray for now, also.
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