Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Jesus' followers had just experienced his excruciating death by way of crucifixion. It should have been a moment of fear and trembling for all of his followers and yet here we find Joseph of Arimathea willing to go boldly to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Willing to put aside all fear of being associated with Jesus, Joseph moves on boldly.
We are not charged to be timid about our faith in Jesus Christ, but we are encouraged to move forward boldly. For the disciples who witnessed Jesus' death this boldness was acted out in different ways, ways in which we, too, may be challenged to respond.
Joseph boldly went before the government official to follow-through on his commitment to Christ. There may be those of us who will be called to be bold in our faith before those in authority. Joseph would have known that he could suffer consequences for his association with Christ but he knew the right thing to do was to care for the body of Christ. It is right that you and I should also care for the body of Christ, and to do so means that we may need to boldly go to those in places of official responsibility and be the voice for those who have lost theirs.
Interestingly the next ones we find going boldly to care for the body are the women. It's on the morning of Christ's resurrection that they go to prepare his body with spices. They are physically caring for the body and they are willing to do this with boldness because the body is surrounded by guards. And yet the depth of their love for Jesus compels them to care for the body. Our love for our savior must also compel us to go boldly to the bruised, beaten and decaying body of Christ and bring the ointments of healing.
Today is International Women's Day and tomorrow we will celebrate Freedom Sunday. All around the world we need to be aware that there are members of the body of Christ that are being beaten, used and abused and that there is a call to go boldly and care for the body. We are not to be timid bystanders, but we are moved to bold action. The people of God are empowered by the Holy Spirit to act with holy boldness, and in doing so the world will see an active reflection of Christ ministering to the needs of the least of these. This is our calling. May we respond with his boldness.
Lord, may I be bold for you today. Amen.