A cross against the sun

People don’t always act the way you’d predict

The disciples were afraid

Jesus found the disciples hiding in fear of the Jews on Easter Sunday evening. After the powerful events of the first Easter they were still afraid. (John 20:19)

Two religious leaders risked their lives

In contrast, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus revealed their allegiance to Jesus after his death but before the resurrection. They requested the body of an enemy of Rome who had suffered the torture and death reserved the lowest of the empire’s criminals. Usually the bodies of victims of crucifixion were thrown in mass graves, left to rot, or left for scavengers.

Of the thousands of victims of crucifixion there is only one recovered body. In 1968 an ossuary containing the bones of a man with a nail through his heel was found in Jerusalem. The nail was bent and could not be removed and was buried with the victim. Usually the nails were removed and used again. They were more valuable than the bodies.

After he was assured by the soldiers that Jesus was dead, Pilate allowed Joseph and Nicodemus to bury the body. They were wealthy men as well as members of the ruling council of the Jews. The seventy-five pounds of spices showed their wealth and their desire to care properly for Jesus. The buried Jesus in Joseph’s newly hewn tomb that was near the tombs of John Hyrcannus and Alexander Jannaeus, famous high priests of an earlier era. This was done quickly to observe Jewish Sabbath laws. (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:38-42)

Fulfilled prophecy

Their public actions fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:9 that the Suffering Servant would be with the rich in his death.

Nicodemus’ faith

We have several glimpses into Nicodemus’ pilgrimage in John. In John, chapter three, he came to Jesus at night and did not understand the mandate to be born again. He later spoke in Jesus’ defense to the other Pharisees. This final action is public and clear. (John 3; 7:50-52)

Few, if anyone would have predicted that the disciples would have been hiding in fear after the resurrection while members of the Jewish council had taken a dangerous stand for Jesus before he rose from the dead.

People don’t always act the way you’d predict

Have you ever been surprised by someone’s faith?

Have you ever been surprised by someone’s lack of faith?

3 thoughts on “People don’t always act the way you’d predict”

  1. Thanks Bob. A good reminder that we should not be too presumptuous in our judgement that we “know” a person. We need to recognize that the Spirit is still in the business of changing lives!

  2. This should prompt us to be more forgiving and understanding toward others…and toward ourselves. God, too, is unpredictable…except when it comes to His character. He will always act in line with His character. It is the “why” He acts. But, the other variables remain fluid — the what, who, when, and where. Thanks, Bob!

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