“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.” John 19 vs. 38 – 39 NASB
“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?” Esther 4 vs. 13 – 14 AMP
As we move on in life, it is important for us to realize that all of God’s children are useful to Him in one way or the other. Wherever you may be, in whatever position you find yourself in life, you can be a fort of resistance against the enemy, a bulwark of protection and honour for the saints of God. This is the lesson I wish to draw from the Arimathean today.
There are not many people who would have entered the palace of Pilate and made demands for the body of Jesus. Yes, Joseph of Arimathea was bold and courageous, but he was also privileged. John, though he was there at the scene of crucifixion could not have had that effrontery to walk into Pilate’s palace, not particularly because he is not bold, but majorly because he is not privileged. By the reason of Joseph’s wealth and societal status, he was such a man that could command the attention of the Roman lords and rulers (such as Pilate), and he maximized that privilege for the purpose to which God had called him. At this point, what the ‘body of Christ’ needed was a man with such privileges and authority, and Joseph of Arimathea made himself available for God to use him and his position of influence.
The same thing happened to Esther. When she heard of the decree by the king against her people the Jews, she was afraid to go in to see the king without being summoned. However, after 3 days of praying and fasting, she gathered courage (remember the INCONTESTABLE RULE OF COURAGE), and went in to see the king. However, while she was still doubting before then whether she should take that course of action, Modercai reminded her that there was a possibility that God brought him into that position for “such a time as this”.
I would like all of us believers in Christ Jesus to know that there are privileges we have that no other person anywhere has. There are people we contact with every day that no other person can contact. It is irresponsibility to expect another person to do the work that you have been given the privilege to do. Those your colleagues in the office, those your students at school, those your fellow students, those your neighbors; is it not ironical that you are waiting for when a mighty man of God will come and reach them for Christ, when God had positioned you there?
What of our wealthy brethren? Do you know you could be wealthy, privileged with finances, political power, etc, not particularly because you are intelligent or you know how to play the game, but because God is giving you an opportunity for His Church to be helped. When we get to heaven, we will give account of how we maximized our privileges, and how we utilized the position, opportunities, gifts and talents that God gave us for His glory. I pray that on that day, you will not be condemned by the Lord that you did not do well. I’m not saying you will go to hell, but you will not hear the Lord say to you, “well done!”
I pray that God will help all Christians everywhere to rise up and utilize their privileges, opportunities, talents and powers for the glory of God, and not for the aggrandizing of self. There are so many things the Arimathean could have gone into Pilate’s palace and asked for, but he chose to ask for nothing else but the body of Christ. May his life encourage us to maximize all we have (and have been given) to see Jesus glorified in our generation. Amen.