John 19:16-42; 2 Chronicles 30; Psalm 86
“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.” (John 19:38-39 NKJV)
We get our last glimpse of Nicodemus in this passage, but what an interesting picture it is! We see him working with another secret disciple, Joseph of Arimethea, to arrange for Jesus’s burial. Joseph got permission from Pilate and Nicodemus brought around 100 pounds of spices and aloes. I think he may have had help. Other versions change that number to 75 pounds, based on the Roman system of weights and measures, but it was a lot, no matter what the exact figure was. Based upon the amount of spices, and some people speculate that Nicodemus had the help of servants to carry that much weight, and what we know of Joseph, we can make a pretty good case that both of them were wealthy. They came just before nightfall, since they had to get things taken care of before the Sabbath, and, it appears that these spices were not burial spices. Perhaps they were brought to keep the tomb from smelling when others would come to anoint Jesus’s body for burial. We should also note that by handling Jesus’s body, these two men made themselves ceremonially unclean for the Passover.
There are a lot of people who might tell you in church that they’re following Christ, but they fly under the radar during the week. They probably have good reasons for that: they might lose business opportunities, or people may make fun of them for believing in God. There are lots more reasons. Eventually, though, there will come a time when you have to make a public stand for what you believe. It won’t be “liking and sharing” a social media post after typing “Amen.” It won’t be sending a message to ten people. It might mean giving up something you’ve been wanting or looking forward to. It might mean losing a job, or the friendship of people you admire. It may mean a financial sacrifice. But the joy of walking with the Lord every day outweighs any sacrifice we might make and the benefits from our relationship with God include experiencing God’s love and forgiveness, as well as being empowered to love and forgive others. If you’re trying to live under the radar as a secret Christian, change your ways! Walk into the light and let others know about God’s love for them. The joy will be worth anything you give up.
Lord, help me to be bold and visible about my faith. Let me show others Your love, grace, and forgiveness even when it costs. Remind me of the great price you paid to bring salvation.