“Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he feared the Jews” (John 19:38).
Joseph of Arimathea was a good and righteous man who lived by the highest teachings of the Jewish faith. He was always fair and trustworthy, and his word was as good as a signed contract. He was admirable in every way but one—he was a secret Christian.
There was real tragedy in Joseph’s secret discipleship, just as it is today when we try to hide the fact that we are Christians. Secret Christians could, but don’t bless others. Joseph could have set an example that would have drawn others to Christ, but he didn’t. He could have blessed Christ by being one who stood up for Him, when everyone else was against Him, but he didn’t. He missed many great opportunities because he kept his faith in Christ a secret.
Joseph later tried to make up for his silence. He came after Christ had died, helped take down His body from the cross, prepare it for burial, and gave it a grave. What he did was notable—but too late.
If we love and appreciate someone, we shouldn’t wait until they are dead to show it. Give them flowers while they are living. Tell them we love them while they can hear. Show them that we care. In the same way, if we love Christ, we should never hide it. The world at its worst needs us at our best. Isn’t it time we all came out for Christ?
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People For the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org