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 (NIV)
All of Jerusalem had been in an uproar. Powerful figures had labored hard to execute Jesus. Finally they had persuaded people and the governors. They succeeded in having Jesus hung on a cross. Their display of power and intolerance of Jesus´s teachings posed a great threat to anyone who remained connected to Jesus in any way. Everyone who still held Jesus as the Son of God had to suppress their identity for fear of their lives. Yet in the face of such danger, the scriptures say there was one man who mustered up courage in that dark time. Joseph of Arimathea boldly went to the Governor and asked for the body of Jesus. He is described as being a man who was, “WAITING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD!”
How did this man find the kind of courage it took to make such a bold request? Could it be BECAUSE he was waiting for this Kingdom? Could it just be because his sights went further than our current existence that he found the courage to step into the face of danger? Did his hope for seeing the coming of the Lord outweigh his temporary comfort or personal aspirations? Was he more concerned that God´s will and plans were fulfilled than he was about his own safety? Was he living for his own pleasure in the here and now? Or for the hopes of seeing what God has offered him in the end? Did he do well in his daring request? Were his actions prudent? Did he act as we are acting today?
How do we size up to that description? What would define us? Would people describe us as people waiting for the Kingdom of God? What are we doing to make them think that? If it is not what others see in us, what should we be doing to let them know what is in our hearts? Or should we rather be asking ourselves some more pertinent questions? Should we be interrogating our own intentions? Should we choose to examine where our interests lie? Where do we look? Who´s opinions matter most to us? Are we afraid of what those around see in us? Or are we demonstrating that it is God in whom we are concerned? Are we thinking, preparing, and acting out on our hopes for His Kingdom? Or are we doing just fine with our own? Do we live our lives here on earth as children who belong in that Kingdom to come? Or are we living as any other child would of this enjoyable kingdom we have here? Is our love greater for the Kingdom which we have not yet seen? Or are we in love the one we already have? Are we sufficiently content with our lives here? Do we have no real need to get overly worked up about that future home?
This man Joseph accepted the opportunity to demonstrate to our Savior Jesus his love for Him. He lived his life directed to God´s will and to eternity. He cared for the body of Jesus and will always be remembered for his courage and faith. Would we today like to share that kind of love for our Savior? Could we imitate this pioneer in his hope for the Kingdom of our Father? Could we too turn our hearts into heart which are waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven?
Dear Jesus, please be extra close to us today. We would like some reassurance from You. Please help us examine our hearts again. Show us our true longings. We would like to be recognized in Your eyes and by all those we come in contact with as being people who are waiting for Your Kingdom. We would love to be that genuine in our faith. Please make it the force that drives us and makes us bold and strong today. Let it make us strong enough to stand in the way of any threat, because we are only concerned about being with You.