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the world leader

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the realm of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid. Mark 15: 42-47
 
What do you think of Donald Trump?

What about Ian Gorst?

What about world leaders in every field?

Come with me on my time-bicycle back to the first Good Friday. The year is AD 30. The place is Jerusalem. Outside the walls of that city a man – Jesus Christ – has just been subjected to the form of capital punishment deserved by the worst of criminals and by the lowest grades on the social scale.

He is dead.

Earlier that day the Jewish Sanhedrin (similar to the pre-war States of Jersey in its constitution) had met and reached the decision – with no member dissenting – that Jesus was worthy of death.

 
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‘There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.’ (William Cowper, hymn writer, 1731-1800)
One member didn’t attend – Joseph, who lived outside Jerusalem in a smaller town in Judea named Arimathea. He was a respected member of that Council. He wasn’t at the Sanhedrin’s early morning meeting – but he was at the cross outside Jerusalem later that afternoon.

That evening, Joseph took courage. Jesus was dead. 

Joseph was looking towards the realm of God – the place where all would live in fellowship with – and to enjoy – the LORD God. For that reason alone – Jesus was dead – Joseph took courage and asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. 

Not only had Joseph lost all favour with the other Sanhedrin members through his avoidable absence even after a three line whip – but also he would most likely lose everything else. Why? Because he would bury the body of this twice-condemned criminal.

Was Jesus dead? When Mark, Jesus’ eye-witness biographer, recods that Joseph asked Pilate for the “body” of Jesus he used the Greek word “sarx” meaning “flesh”. Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus should have already died. Summoning the centurion who had overseen the crucifixion, he asked him whether Jesus was already dead. 

Mark records that when Pilate had learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the “corpse” to Joseph. For “corpse” Mark used the Greek word “ptoma” which means “carcase”.

Jesus is a corpse. Joseph has purchased a linen shroud. He takes the body down from the cross and places it in a new tomb, cut out from the rock, and rolls the large stone down its slight incline so as to complete the burial.

What do you think of Joseph? A world leader?

For me, Joseph is very, very special. Jesus is dead. Jesus is dead. Joseph will now, whatever it costs, follow what Jesus taught and live the way Jesus lived.

 
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‘When this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave, then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy power to save,’ (William Cowper, hymn writer, 1731-1800)
I wish I could be like Joseph of Arimathea. A world leader. Even though Jesus was dead.

 
Sinner Syvret

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