42 When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid. (Mark 15)
The tasks that God calls us to require that we gather up courage, even as Joseph of Arimathea did here, in this passage of Scripture. We meet Joseph just this one time, after Jesus has already died. God had laid it on his heart to give Jesus an honored burial. Daring, Bold, ventured, presumed, courageous; this is how the words “gathered up courage,” are translated throughout the Scriptures. There is an act of sheer will in following God and accomplishing all that He gives us to do. But He promises to equip us: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”(Phil 2:2b-3) God guides and directs us through His Word, His Spirit, and sometimes circumstances or other believers. He calls us to equip ourselves: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3). The Word of God is our inspiration, our encouragement, our personal trainer. When God speaks to me, it is always in and through the Word of God, whether He is bringing it back up from memory, or showing me directly in the Word as I read it daily. So let us come before our Precious Savior, Lord and God. Let us sit at His feet, in the Word and listen. Let us rise up, then go and do, what He says. Joseph of Arimathea gathered up the courage to go in and ask for the Body of Jesus, so that He could bury Him decently. 46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid. Observe the tenderness that Joseph showed to Jesus. What an honor, what a privilege, to take Him down, to carefully wrap his body in a linen cloth, swaddled once again; as in birth, so in death.
O, Lord God, help us to gather courage to do all that You call us to, never glancing to the left or right, but setting our faces like flint to accomplish Your Will. Make each of us like Joseph, here; courageous, bold and obedient. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen