Today’s Reading: John 19:38-39a (NIV)
38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.
There is something to be said for landing right side up. My sister said these words to me last night, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. Our grandson Jett took gymnastics every Saturday morning for two years. Occasionally, he would fall off the balance beam or not quite get high enough while swinging on the pommel horse. Every now and then, Jett would miss clearing the vault and fall onto the mats underneath. When he fell, Jett found a way to land right side up. There are times in life when we fall. The key to getting back up is in how we land.
Joseph and Nicodemus landed right side up. It took the Savior’s death to bring them both out of hiding. They were members of the Jewish council and followed the Master secretly. Fearful that others might find out, Nicodemus snuck around to see the Lord at night, asking questions in the dark. Joseph had earned the respect of his brothers in the Jewish community. Joseph’s family had a tomb in the garden near Golgotha. He was compelled give His Lord a proper burial. Joseph waited until the crowd had disbursed, asking Pilate for permission to take Christ’s body and personally bury him.
Fear can grip us when we lease expect it. You may be struggling today with fear of what the future holds. We watch as fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, disease, and starvation take its toll all over the world. Wars continue, stock prices fall, and instability in the job market has caused families to lose jobs, homes, and their life savings. It is easy to become discouraged when fear sets in. For Joseph and Nicodemus, their fear of sharing faith in Christ kept them silent even as He died upon the cross. Death has a way of forever changing people’s hearts. We realize just how much we miss the one we’ve lost. We set ourselves to a higher standard, purposing not to comprise who we are and what we believe simply out of fear of what may come.
Joseph and Nicodemus allowed their fears to catapult them into a faith freefall. Yet, they both managed to land right side up. Christ’s death was more than they could bear. It was time to stand up and tell the truth; expressing love for the One who gave His life in exchange for theirs.
If you have fallen from faith, it is not too late to land right side up. Reach out to Jesus today. Tell Him you are ready to take that first step in Him. When people place their hopes in earthly things, even our best laid plans are bound to crumble and fall. There is only one secure hope that will stand the test of all time, and He is the One who died and lives so that we might have eternal life with Him. Reach out to Jesus; confess Him as your personal Savior today. It is time to land right side up.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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