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|Committed to God||MARCH 9|
Pilate was approached by Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus, but a secret disciple for fear of the Jews, who asked to be allowed to remove the body of Jesus. . . . He was joined by Nicodemus. John 19:38, 39, N.E.B.
Very little is said about Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea, although they are mentioned as disciples. One could wish to know more about them, particularly Nicodemus. He is reputed to have been a very wealthy man. He did not want to be seen with Christ. He came to Jesus by night. He condescended to call Jesus a teacher. He cannot be ranked with the other disciples. For a long time he appears to be an undeclared disciple.
Silence is a position whether we like it or not. Silence cannot be interpreted to mean commitment to Christ. This restricted loyalty, if you wish to give it a name, is not the ideal thing. Our witness to the effect that we have accepted Christ and experienced His saving power is to avow Him, to stand for Him, to confess Him at all times, especially when the issues call for it. We must give expression to our commitment. We must not leave our friends and neighbors in doubt on such an issue as this. It is of vital consequence that we openly and spontaneously honor our Lord in word and deed. We must not shy away from full-square allegiance to Him and to His Word. The cause of Christ never needed courageous witnesses more than now.
For Christians, there are three unpardonable attitudes today: first, to be superficial, indifferent, and flippant about the world peril and the human situation of our time. Second, to live and act as if the status quo would avail to meet our Christian responsibility. Third, to lack the moral courage to rise to the occasion and the opportunity God has set before us.
Everything about our world today is critical. To be slothful in our thinking and our mode of living is surely to play the coward. It takes courage to live openly and unashamedly for Christ in a world that is foolish, immoral, and cruel. We are not asking for fanaticism, but for a daily choice toward righteous living and away from sin, toward love and away from hate, toward self-sacrifice and obedience and away from disobedience, toward compassion for the lost and away from indifference.
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