Summary: Living out God’s purposes for our lives is going to involve taking up the gaunlet and being prepared to stand up, serve others and sacrifice self, for Jesus sake.
Mark.15:42 -47. “Born for such a time as this”
being born for uch a time - February 1980 the US Olympic ice hockey team slipped its foot into a glass slipper and walked away with a gold medal at Lake placid, New York. Beating The world best Russian team and then beating Finland in the final. Before the teams victory over Russia which advanced them into the finals, the coach of the US team told his players “You are born to be a player. You are meant to be here at this time, this is your moment. supplied @ bible.org
Throughout Marks gospel we have seen the life of Jesus being outlived before our eyes – he was born for such a time,and he knew it,the cross was His destiny. But its true for all those who interacted with Jesus they were born for such a time and as a result of the council’s decision and the crowds anger and Pilates apathy towards Jesus – His death takes place fulfilling Gods set purposes (Acts 2:23) – and that moment inGods providence is the blackest hour where Jesus is abandoned by God and humanity. There is one man who doesn’t walk away.
Some people give Joseph bad press but I dont think he deserves it, I think his life is to be commended and followed. This one man with Nicodemus step’s onto the scene – Many people had responded to the living Christ but Joseph would respond to the crucified Christ.
Joseph of Arimathea was born for such a time as this, when things were at their blackest and lowest point, the disciples had vanished – his family had not claimed the dead body but Joseph did. He was called by God to minister to Jesus at this particular moment in time. It spoke out to the world that I am a follower of Christ and this is what I’m prepared to do, because this is what He was prepared to do for me.
Joseph of Arimathea was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin council v42 who was against the decision to crucify Jesus (Luke 23.50) - In fact John tells us he was actually a secret disciple of Jesus (John :19:38.) Mark also infers this by saying Joseph : Mrk 15:43 ‘ was waiting for the kingdom of God.’
For this is what Jesus preached when he first entered Galilee (Mark 1:15) the kingdom of God is near. Jesus had inaugurated this kingdom; Joseph had come to believe in Jesus as Messiah, but being a prominent member of the Sanhedrin like Nicodemus wasn’t easy, in a difficult position. So until this point he had engaged in a low profile in his situation.
• There are Christians we know little about - often we can think were the only ones but it’s not the case there are believers in the most unusual positions – often keeping a low profile in places of power like parliament – around the world in Islamic countries they often have to remain secret disciples in fear of the consequences, but still witnessing.
Remenber what God said to Elijah on mount Horeb 1Kings. 19:18. I have reserved seven thousand in Israel whose knees have not bowed to Baal.
Sometimes it is necessary to keep a low profile, so that God can use you at a specific time and place to be an influence in such place.
• But often there comes a time to come out of hiding to fufill our God given purpose for such a time as this!
• In our culture today homosexuals often talk about coming out of the closet – I think many secret Christians need to come out – where they can fulfil their God given destiny.
Are you a secret disciple of Jesus? There will come a time to be counted.
Application: I wonnder are you willing now to stand up and be counted today in the house of the Lord – no secret disciples in the house of the Lord, Lets stand if you love the Lord Jesus Christ, okay - its not easy is it even in the house of the Lord imagine what it would be like in the enviroment that Joseph found himslf in.
1.Joseph was prepared to stand up for his Saviour. v43. He went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus body
We see here that Joseph is prepared to stand up and be counted - he nails his colours onto the mast - he comes out of the closet as it were - He no doubt had heard all the falsehood and lies in the council and was unable to stand up against the majority voice any longer – he couldn’t take any more of the hypocrisy – maybe the fatal decision had been the turning point for Joseph - he could no longer side silently with those who put Jesus to death - he was no longer an influence – but just was being carried along - So Joseph finally stands up and is counted as a disciple of Jesus, he had come to his own personal crossroads.