I’ve been listening and praying and searching my own heart about racial injustice in our nation. Today, I felt hope. I felt real hope! But I still feel discouraged and unsure about what I can do in my town, in my position, and with my skills and resources. My prayer is that God will lead me to bear the fruit He’s ordained for my life, and that as I abide in Jesus, I will bear fruit. You will bear fruit. Isn’t that exciting to think of what’s coming?
I find myself in the book of Matthew. I woke up knowing that I’d be reading about the crucifixion, but I didn’t think that God would have a special moment of teaching for me on the questions of my heart. In Matthew 27, we read about a wealthy leader who uses his power, privilege, and resources to do something amazing. We read this:
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Joseph was a mostly silent and mostly hidden follower of Jesus. I wonder about him. I wonder about his life. Was he scared and unsure of what to do and how to serve? Was he feeling hopeless and of little faith? And then, what prompted him to make this mark in history at such a time? He steps forward to go to Pilate. Think of the courage and boldness that took. He also uses his own burial tomb. Jospeh, in other words, provided the resources and location in which a resurrection miracle would take place. His service would become the place that housed angels, miracles, and the resurrected Lord.
But why this and why now? Maybe this was what God had set Joseph up for all along. This was his moment, perhaps what he saw as his small contribution. I think about Jospeh and our own hearts as we wait for God to lead us to use our own resources like he did. I also think about the symbolic gesture of giving over your own burial site. It’s a way of saying, “I don’t about my life or death anymore. I just care about you, Jesus.”
When it’s time, I pray we step forward as God leads to bless and serve as He has uniquely prepared us to do. Maybe it’s time.