Sermons

Summary: How Joseph of Arimathaea was changed by coming face to face with Jesus

Bringing out your best

Face to Face / July 22nd 2007

Intro: One of my favorite things about God is His ability to transform a person’s life. He beautifully sets people free from sin and bondage and firmly establishes His character into their lives.

He brings out your best

Those interactions with God are often during our times of desperation, but when we come face to face with Jesus we see something in Him that changes us eternally.

Tonight we will be looking into one man’s encounter with Jesus that changed his whole life and brought out the best in him.

Let’s turn to:

Text: Mark 15:42-46 KJV “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

I. He was Looking for the Kingdom

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God,

a. Honorable Counselor – a title given to only a few in the history of Israel. Luke tells he was a “good and righteous man.”

b. He knew the Prophecies – He was waiting for the Kingdom of God

Matthew 27:60 “laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock.”

i. He was from Arimathaea but relocated to Jerusalem.

ii. He pre-purchased his own tomb so that even if the Christ wouldn’t come during his life time, he would be ready for the resurrection.

A portion of a letter written by a man to his Jewish Grandmother,

“You wanted to be buried on the Mount of Olives, so when the Messiah will come on his white donkey and blow his horn and there will be resurrection of the dead, there will be no need for grandpa’s and your body to roll from the tomb in the land of exile to Jerusalem in order to rise up from the dead, but you will just get up and join the Messiah, watching how the temple comes down from heaven.”

c. He heard the announcement of Christ, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.”

d. He saw the proof of His ministry.

i. For whatever reason, he held back from fully devoting himself.

ii. Maybe he was playing it safe, or not fully convinced.

iii. But at least he was “Managing” his faith. He wasn’t quite ready for total commitment.

iv. He believed in Jesus, but didn’t make it known.

John 19:38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews,

e. Disapproved of Christ’s crucifixion

Luke 23:51 “who had not consented to their decision and action;”

Things were going good, gaining steam, the light was growing brighter and brighter. Then all of sudden, despite Jesus’ continual warnings of the fact, His light is completely eclipsed. The disciples all scatter.

As the saying goes, “the darkest hour is just before dawn.” So goes the development of Jesus’ ministry. At least as far as all of Jesus’ disciples were concerned.

II. In the darkest Hour

When the crowd was jeering, “If you’re the Christ, come down from there.” They were say, “We know you’re the Christ, please come down, show them who you really are.”

But he did not. He gave up His Spirit.

When Jesus was still alive Joseph was too cowardly to stand, after Jesus’ death the Disciples were too cowardly and Joseph stood up

a. Joseph reached his limit

i. Christ’s death rattled something loose in that man.

1. Maybe a righteous indignation

2. Maybe regret for not standing sooner

3. Maybe a desire to finally do what was right.

ii. He stood up!!!

Mark 15:43 “Joseph…went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.”

iii. Roman law forbids the proper burial of crucified men.

iv. His body was to be thrown into the Valley of Hinnom.

v. It was a part of the shame of the roman execution: Discard the body like garbage.

Mark 15:44 “…Pilate…calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.”

vi. Joseph waited as the messenger was sent to bring the Centurion back from the sight.

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