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Discipleship in the dark (Luke 23 v 50-56)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

It’s difficult to imagine the sheer despair that must have engulfed Jesus’ followers as He died. It was the end; all their hopes and dreams shattered. The King was dead, their cause defeated. It was all over.

Read Luke 23:50
It’s evening on the Friday—and a new character appears on the scene (v 50-52).

• Who is he?
• How’s he described?
• What does he do?
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TIME OUT
• What do Matthew 27:57 and John 19:38 add to our picture of this man?
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• What does Joseph have to lose by identifying himself with a condemned criminal?
• What was Pilate doing last time he was part of Luke’s narrative (Luke 23:24)?

Someone who identified themselves publicly with Jesus could expect similar treatment to His. And Joseph’s bravery is all the more remarkable because he couldn’t have seen how there was anything to be gained by risking everything for a dead
man, even if it was the Christ.

• What does Joseph do with Jesus’ body (v 53)?
• Who else has stuck by Jesus to the bitter end (v 55)?

Joseph is a picture of true discipleship. Faced with defeat and despair, when it could gain him nothing, he risked all to do what he could for his King. And in God’s goodness, he’d have the privilege of owning the tomb from which his King would rise back to life. But he couldn’t have known that at the time.
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APPLY
• How do Joseph and the women encourage and challenge you as a disciple?
In which situations in your day-today life could you take risks to identify with Jesus (even if you can't see how it will gain anything)?
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TIME OUT
• How does v 55-6 add credibility to the Christian claim that Jesus rose from the dead?
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PRAY
Ask God to give you opportunities to publicly stand up for His Son this week; and ask Him to give you the privilege of being used for His purposes as you do that.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore58 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

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Originally published April 07, 2012.

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