take the next step

Here’s my latest for Our Daily Journey. I’ve got a few days if anyone sees something that needs changed. Thanks!

Have you felt the crushing weight of despair? A performance review was overwhelmingly negative, or a cancer screen was unexpectedly positive. Your spouse announced he wanted a divorce, and suddenly you were lost and alone. You weren’t sure of anything except that your life seemed pretty much over.

         Joseph of Arimathea had one of those days. He had been a secret follower of Jesus, and he apparently said little when his fellow council members condemned Jesus to death (Luke 23:50-51). Perhaps he thought Jesus would bring in the kingdom without his help. That hope was quickly dashed, as Joseph watched Jesus die one horrible morning. The disciples fled, the dream was over.

         Then Joseph did something that didn’t seem worth the risk. It was a small gesture, yet it turned out to be essential for his salvation. And ours. Late that afternoon Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body. If Joseph had fled with the rest of the disciples, Jesus’ body would have been tossed on the garbage dump with the other crucified criminals. His body would have been eaten by dogs and vultures. There would have been nothing left to rise from the dead. But Joseph buried Jesus in his own tomb, and so laid the foundation for His resurrection.

         Emergency responders tell disaster victims to focus on the task at hand. Don’t look at the big picture. Just do what you need to survive and wait for help to arrive. That help will surely come, if you’re a Christian. It may come in two days, as it did for Joseph, or not until this life is over. But it will come, for the same Spirit who raised Jesus will also “give life to your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11).

Are you waiting for deliverance? Take the next step. It might be the very thing God uses in your rescue.







2 responses to “take the next step”

  1. Skeeter Ebersole

    My concern is with your indication that the body had to remain intact for the resurrection. That would be problematic to believers lost as sea, and presumably eaten by fish, organ donors, etc. What may have been at risk was the prophecy of Jesus and the sign of Jonah requiring his internment. Though His resurrection, while prototypical of our pending resurrection, isn’t necessarily identical to ours.

  2. mikewittmer

    good point, Skeeter. Thanks for this catch.

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