A Good Place To Leave Him
--at the feet of Jesus. We shall meet him by and by in the kingdom
His testimony has been ringing down through the ages these last
nineteen hundred years. It has been talked about wherever the Word
of God has been known. It was a wonderful day's work that man did
for the Son of God; doubtless there will be many in eternity who
will thank God for his confession of Christ.
By thus showing his gratitude in coming out and confessing Christ,
he has left a record that has stirred the Church of God ever since.
He is one of the characters that always stirs one up, imparting new
life and fire, new boldness and courage when one reads about him.
This is what we need to-day as much as ever--to stand up for the Son
of God. Let the Pharisees rage against us; let the world go on
mocking, and sneering, and scoffing; we will stand up courageously
for the Son of God. If they cast us out, they will cast us right
into His own bosom. He will take us to His own loving arms. It is a
blessed thing to live so godly in Christ Jesus that the world will
not want you--that they will cast you out.
Now we come to Joseph of Arimathea.
I do not think he came out quite so nobly as this blind beggar did;
but he did come out, and we will thank God for that. We read in John
that for fear of the Jews he was kept back from confessing openly.
"And after this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but
secretly, for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take
away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him leave. He came,
therefore, and took the body of Jesus."
Read the four accounts given in the four Gospels of Joseph of
Arimathea. There is very seldom anything mentioned by all four of
the Evangelists. If Matthew and Mark refer to an event it is often
omitted by Luke and John; and, if it occur in the latter, it may not
be contained in the former. John's Gospel is made up of that which
is absent from the others in most instances--as in the case of the
blind man alluded to. But all four record what Joseph did for
Christ. All His disciples had forsaken Him. One had sold Him, and
another had denied Him. He was left in gloom and darkness, when
Joseph of Arimathea came out and confessed Him.
It was the death of Jesus Christ that brought out Joseph of
Arimathea. Probably he was one of the number that stood at the cross
when the centurion smote his breast, and cried out, "Truly, this was
the Son of God," and he was doubtless convinced at the same time. He
was a disciple before, because we read that on the night of the
trial he did not give his consent to the death of Christ. There must
have been some surprise in the Council-chamber on that occasion,
when Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man, stood up and said:
"I will never give my consent to His death."
There were seventy of those men, but we have very good reason to
believe that there were two of them that, like Caleb and Joshua of
old, had the courage to stand up for Jesus Christ--these were Joseph
of Arimathea and Nicodemus: neither of them gave their consent to
the death of Christ. But I am afraid Joseph did not come out and say
that he was a disciple--for we do not find a word said about his
being one until after the crucifixion.
I am afraid there are