Saturday April 15th Matthew 27 : 57-60
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.
Joseph of Arimathea was a rich disciple and had his own tomb. He took responsibility over the other disciples by asking Pilate for the body of Jesus. He then buried Jesus in his own private grave. All this took faith and courage.
In the modern church, we mark Easter in a number of ways. We hold our special services. We perhaps have fish for our main meal on Good Friday, or make Simnel Cake with its eleven balls of marzipan icing to signify the eleven apostles. Children paint Easter Eggs and roll them, to symbolise the stone rolled away from the tomb — a hint of tomorrow's reading!
For the world, Easter is perhaps just a Bank Holiday, time to visit family and friends. Or maybe the first opportunity, after winter is over and the days lengthen, to enjoy a holiday.
Yet in the world there are those hidden disciples, like Joseph, who in their own way, love Jesus and seek to serve him, perhaps at some cost to themselves. At Easter we should remember them and pray for them.
Lord, thank you for Joseph of Arimathea, with his faith and courage. Grant us to have the same courage today and help us to remember those whose faith is hidden.
Marjorie Spence Carthorpe