Some years ago I read “The Secret Garden” to my third graders and they were spellbound. What made it so special was that the garden had a magic key that if found would open the door. A robin digging in the dirt revealed its contents and was indeed the key to a  neglected but beautiful garden. She transformed it into a garden of delight and reunited a father and son.

In John 19, we meet the religious leaders who sought to have Christ crucified so they would not be defiled. Yet, two others, who were “secret disciples” reminded  them that this was not “kosher.” These unknowables became notables by their actions on a late afternoon. They shook off their silence and boldly went to Pilate with their request that they alone be allowed to remove Christ from the cross and bury Him. By this, they along with Pilate were saying the execution was unjustified. By this, they became the true defiled as they handled the dead body of our Lord and Savior, Yet their outward defilement was cleansed by the Savior’s blood shed on that cross. By this, the True Passover was handled gently by their hands. By this, they chose to stand alone and risk rejection but their outward loss became their inward gain. By this, they were exclaiming I once stood silent but I will be silent no more when God opens the door of divine opportunity.

God’s ways are not our ways. As man was birthed in a garden and then died in a garden, so a dead man would be buried in a “secret garden” owned by a “secret disciple” whose faith was blooming to be ‘re-birthed’ in that same garden three days later. They may not have voiced their faith openly while the man Jesus was alive but now they would seek to bury him with dignity. They bravely sought a private audience with Pilate and opened their coffers of rich spices and found a place of burial, a neglected but prepared “garden” tomb.

Where have you been silent when you could have spoken?

Are you also a “secret disciple” expecting another to come to Christ without your testimony and let a divine opportunity to pass by?

Learn from these two so you will not have to hear in eternity: why did you not tell me about Jesus?

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