Thursday, August 16, 2012

He Is Patient and Loving

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 
At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. John 19:38-42
Funny how the two men who came to care for the body of Jesus was two men who had served Jesus secretly. They loved Jesus. They came to care for the practical things of Jesus, His dead body, his broken pierced beaten body. They came to clean Him, care for Him and give Him a proper Jewish burial. They brought a heavy bag of spices, 75 lbs. of myrrh and aloes, and fresh linens to wrap Jesus’ body. Makes me wonder where was his eleven remaining disciples, the ones that were closest to Him?

Today this passage just spoke to me, I don’t know why but it made me cry. I cried for Joseph and Nicodemus, why? I wondered how they must have felt. Did they feel like they should have done things differently while He was alive? They stepped up to care for the body of their Lord and Savior, certainly not during a time of celebration or victory. Such sorrow they must have felt. I cannot even imagine how Mary felt. Her precious baby boy beaten, tortured knowing very well that He could have done something to stop it! She had witnessed his miracles before; after all she was the one that told Him to do something about the wine at the wedding! That leads me to believe she had seen Him do other miracles before that time. Yet he let them torture him, he allowed death to overcome Him. She had to be grieving and angry at the same time.

I am so thankful that the story doesn’t end there. There is a happy ending. Jesus rose from the dead three days later. He made way for us to have eternal hope, an eternal hope for life beyond the grave. We will get to spend eternity with Jesus. It isn’t over when this life ends. If you know Jesus you get to be reunited with those who have passed before you who loved the Lord. Don’t get so wrapped up in this temporary place that you lose focus on the long term goal. Jesus is for real, not a myth. There is a heaven and a hell. He provided a way for you. He paid for our salvation with His life. Please take advantage of the gift He has already paid for, it wasn’t free; He paid the debt in full with his Life. Please don’t waste the gift that He purchased for you. He loves you so very much. It says in II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

He is waiting patiently for you. He loves you so very much.

Love, the impatient one :)


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