Good Friday, April 14

Jesus is Buried
John 19:38-42

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea are two New Testament men whose stories have helped me in my spiritual journey. Both were Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling council of Israel. Both were learned in the law, respected, wealthy, and lived during Jesus’ earthly life.

Joseph was secretly a disciple of Jesus. He did not consent to the decision and action of the council when they condemned Jesus. Nicodemus believed that Jesus was a teacher from God. It was under the cover of the darkness of night when he privately visited Jesus, but Nicodemus himself was in spiritual darkness. Until Nicodemus understood the regeneration of the body by the Holy Spirit, he could not see the light of who Jesus fully was.

After the Crucifixion of Jesus, in order to comply with Jewish burial customs, Joseph of Arimathea courageously asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Nicodemus provided embalming spices and boldly assisted Joseph in wrapping Jesus’ body with strips of linen. They then laid Him in a tomb cut in stone.

I, like Joseph and Nicodemus, had long felt that there must be more to life than mere existence. My journey began by listening when my daughter talked about her Bible studies. I met her friends who encouraged me. But I still looked at the Bible as an intellectual exercise. Like the old Nicodemus, I was in spiritual darkness.

At a Bible seminar, a friend asked me when I would take Jesus as my Savior. Immediately, I told her “now.” Joy, happiness and peace surrounded me. I knew that I had found the light of the kingdom of God.

Stepping Out in Lent – Today on Good Friday, may we remember and more fully understand Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Author – Susie Shoemaker lived in Miami with her husband who was editor of The Miami Herald. Since his death, she has lived with her daughter and granddaughter. They moved to Tallahassee nine years ago. They all attend St. Peter’s where Susie is a member.