Risky Business

Reading the Bible in a different translation than you’re used to can really help to round out your understanding of a passage. This happened for me this week as I was reading Mark 15:43 in the New Living Translation.

This passage tells us how after Jesus had died on the cross, a man from Arimathea named Joseph went to Pilate, the Roman governor who had given the order to have Jesus executed. We’re told that Joseph was a respected, high-ranking member of the Jewish organization whose members (though not all of them, obviously) had conspired to have Jesus killed. The last thing a member of this group–especially one who was so visible–would want to do is align himself with Jesus.

Yet Mark 15:43 in the NLT tells us that “Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.” It seems like you’d have to be out of your mind to approach the most powerful man in the region and ask for the body of someone he’d just had murdered. And even more so if you’re part of the organization that requested the execution! But Joseph “took a risk” and did it anyway. The rest of this verse informs us that Joseph “was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.” Apparently he recognized that he had the opportunity to have a role in the coming of the Kingdom of God, and he was willing to risk his reputation, his livelihood, and even his very life in order to identify with Jesus and do his part.

Identifying with Jesus is usually not the most popular thing a person can do. It’s risky. Actually following Jesus–that is, denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Him, as He said–is even riskier. There are uncertainties. There could be a cost. But the only way to seize our God-given opportunities and play our unique role in God’s plan is if we’re willing, like Joseph, to take a risk.

Right now SonRise is faced with an opportunity we’ve not had before and might not have again. It’s risky. There is huge cost involved. I hope we’ll follow Joseph’s example and take a risk.

Published in: on March 22, 2007 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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