Mark 15:43 tells us that Joseph of Arimathea was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin. Luke 23:50-51 adds that Joseph was a good and upright man who had opposed the action of his fellow council members in their condemnation of Jesus. Both passages affirm that Joseph was "waiting for the kingdom of God." We can safely conclude that this fact was included in scripture because he saw Jesus' connection to God's kingdom.

No one could be "unclean" on the Sabbath, which officially began at sunset on Friday. And Joseph apparently did not want Jesus' body to remain on the cross during the Sabbath. To touch a dead body prior to the Sabbath would have made Joseph unclean. So he went to Pilate and boldly asked for Jesus' body (Mark 15:43).

A key point to remember from last week are the three testimonials to Jesus' death - the second was the centurion, who confirmed to Pilate that Jesus was indeed dead (Mark 15:45).

So Joseph honored Jesus in death by wrapping Jesus' body and sealing Jesus in a tomb. This is the last we hear of Joseph in the scriptures. We don't know what happened to Joseph after the resurrection. He is remembered primarily for this act of mercy and respect and his bold act before the rulers or Caesar's empire.

What risks do we face today? What represents boldness for the cause of Christ to you in this age of freedom and liberty?

In America, it remains safe, even respectable, to be a follower of Christ. No boldness is required. What will you do if that changes?

Will you be bold like Joseph?