The high priest of Israel, Caiaphas, had prophesied; “it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Yet as Caiaphas prophesied these words he had not known that before him, sat at least one who had become a secret believer. Joseph of Arimathea was a good and righteous man waiting for the kingdom of God and had not consented to the plan of the council to condemn Jesus.
We wonder why Joseph did not stand up and then recall the story of the blind man in John 9 who felt the wrath of the Sanhedrin for challenging their stand against Jesus. His sentence was to be cast out of the synagogue. Perhaps, Joseph was witness to that act and out of fear he was silent. But, now after Jesus had breathed his last, he “gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.” This Joseph was joined by Nicodemus, The Teacher of Israel who had come to Jesus at night. Together they lovingly anointed his body with spices, wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in the tomb of Joseph.
And where were the disciples who had boldly pronounced their fidelity? They now were the secret believers locked in an upper room. Their false courage was now seen as cowardice.
We all are given opportunities to stand for Jesus. Will we be courageous or silent?