THE MAN GOD CHOSE

09/04/2017 13:07

 LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE 

 

Date: 7 April, 2017

Text: Mark, Luke and John's account of Joseph of Arimathea

Title:  The Man God Chose

 

Introduction:

 

Did you see this past week that High School journalists in Kansas investigated their new principal's CV and found discrepencies that brought them into an international spotlight?

 

An article online in the Independent said, "The student journalists had begun researching Robertson, and quickly found some discrepancies in her education credentials. For one, when they researched Corllins University, the private university where Robertson said she got her master’s and doctorate degrees years ago, the website didn’t work. They found no evidence that it was an accredited university.

'There were some things that just didn't quite add up," Balthazor (one of the students) told THE WASHINGTON POST. 

The students began digging into a weeks-long investigation that would result in an article published on Friday questioning the legitimacy of the principal's degrees and of her work as an education consultant.

On Tuesday night, Robertson resigned."

 

exp. Investigative reporting would be a pretty exciting field of work. It isn't just about finding out bad things about people, it can be good things as well.

ill. Earlier this year I read an inspiring story about a man who finds purple hearts or other awards for military service - he then tracks down the owner and in a special ceremony gives them back what they either never receieved, lost, had stolen, etc.

 

 What I want us to do is a bit of investigative Bible study. We are going to find out ABOUT THE MAN WHO GOD TRUSTED WITH THE DEAD BODY OF HIS SON. What a responsability! Can you imagine a more valuable trust? 

note: A body is just a tent for our Spirit/soul? Jesus had released his Spirit from it's earthly tent - 

 

Luk 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

exp. He no longer was able to care for his tent - and it had to be committed into the hands of another man to care for until He took it back 3 days later.

note: His disciples had all fled - only John was mentioned as attending the crucifiction.

Mat 26:56  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

 

MESSAGE: THE MAN GOD CHOSE - What does God tell us about a man he chose for a very special task? A man called, Joseph of Arimathaea

 

I. God chose a man of honor.

Mark 15:43  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable

Luke 23: and he was a good man, and a just:

 

def. honourable - someone who deserves honour (high respect; great esteem, the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.)

ill. Katie and I read a nice story in the news this past week. It was about a Lothian Bus Driver, Jackie, who stopped his bus to tie the laces on the shoes of an older man who was walking with a stick. That is honourable.

 ill. PC Patterson - crowd control at football match between Nottingham Forrest and sheffield on 18 Feb - when they heard a man fell into the river. PC Patterson swam out to the man with a life ring and along with three other officers saved his life.

"Sergeant Julian Smedley said the rescue operation was an "exemplary piece of work by all officers".

He added: "They all upheld the finest traditions of the British Police Service and have my wholehearted admiration.

"Pc Patterson displayed true courage, selfless commitment and determination as he entered the river to save the man's life." THAT IS HONOURABLE.

question: Are you a person of honour? Do you do what is right no matter what?

 ill. In grad school - a teacher had us memorize a verse - about making medicine that had to do with honour.

Ecc 10:1  Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

app. Are you guarding the ointment of your life - is it honourable? Are you good and just? God chose a man who was worthy of honour.

 

II. God chose a man of wisdom.

Mark 15:43 ...counsellor

exp. Joseph was a member of the ruling body of the Jews, the Sanhedrin. He was like a Jewish Senator. He had not consented to the counsel of the Sanhedrin at the trial of Jesus.

Luke 23:50  And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:

51  (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

 note: The Sanhedrin is going to lose one of their wisest servants. The Sanhedrin is going to continue it's persecution of Jesus.

Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

20  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

exp. They will whip and beat Peter and John. But, their persecution will only promote the Gospel to the world. Act 8:4  Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

 question: Do you think Joseph is going to remain with the group that killed Jesus and is going to persecute the church? The wise counselor DID NOT CONSENT to their ungodliness.

 app. What about you? When everyone else is going to do what is wrong - ARE YOU WISE ENOUGH TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT?

Psa 15:1  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

v.4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

 

Transition: God chose a man of honour, of wisdom.

 

III. God chose a man of faith.

Mark 15:43 ...which also waited for the kingdom of God

Luke 23: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

 exp. We are waiting today for the kingdom of God to be set up on this earth. We've been preaching about it in our study of Revelation - Jesus is going to physically reign on this earth for 1,000 years and then on the new Heaven and Earth for all eternity.

note: We ought to be praying for this coming day and anticipating it's establishment. The model prayer (Lord's prayer)

Luk 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

note: After the tribulation and at the coming of our Lord this kingdom is established. 

Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

 note: The Jewish leadership hated Jesus because they viewed him as a weak leader unlike what they expected in the Messiah. They wanted a leader who would take care of the Romans and set up his kingdom immediately. Joseph was a man of faith WHO SOUGHT ANSWER BIBLICALLY NOT POLITICALLY.

 ill. Trying to witness to man in Edinburgh who said, "I believe all religions are good" and the Bible is wrong about one God. He wouldn't listen to me as I tried to say - and so, "You believe that you are God and that you get to make the rules."

app. Are you content to LET GOD BE GOD AND TRUST HIM AND NOT YOUR OWN IDEAS? Are you a person of faith who simply trusts God's Word no matter how it cuts through political correctness, religious tradition, family practices etc? 

 

transition: God chose a man of faith, wisdom, honour...

 

IV. God chose a man of boldness.

Mark 15: 43....came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

44  And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

45  And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

exp. Joseph was apparently well known and had access to Pilate. However, Pilate has just exercised his power to kill Jesus. Peter denied Christ before the soldiers but Joseph is going to OWN CHRIST IN FRONT OF PILATE.

 ill. Remember Pilate's words to Jesus - 

John 19:10  Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

exp. I don't believe that Joseph did this of his own volition. Even small tasks are ordered by the Lord. How could he take this bold venture without the clear leading of God.

Like Daniel entering the lions den, the three hebrew children entering the fiery furnace,  Joseph boldly obeys God's command to go get the body of Christ.

 question: What won't you do for God? Has God called upon you to do it? Have you ANY COURAGE - to take on something for God.

ill. Jim Eliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian - died trying to take the Gospel to the Waoranni (Huaorani, Auca) indians in Ecuador.

 ill. The father of modern missions, William Carey - "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God!"

 app. Have you exercised any boldness in any venture for God? 

transition: God chose a man of boldness, faith, wisdom, honour,...

 

V. God chose a man of worshipful surrender.

Mark 15: 46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

Matthew 27:

57  When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, 

59  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

exp. Joseph was rich and it could be argued that because he was rich, he could afford to give. I want to point out that whether he was rich or not didn't matter IF he wasn't surrendered. 

 note: The author (Matthew) points out his riches perhaps to make us marvel even more at the surrender of this man.

Mark 10:23  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

app. We are rich today? Are you surrendered? Do you count all things but loss for Jesus and use what you have to worship Him?

 

transition: God chose a man of surrender, boldness, faith, wisdom, honour,...

 

VI. God chose a man who was teachable.

Matthew 27: who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58  He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59  And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

exp. This was a religious man who was part of the ruling body of the Sanhedrin - but he didn't mind being called a disciple of Jesus.

 ill. We have something called Sunday School, Bible studies, preaching services - I have found that there are some people who are TOO PROUD TO ATTEND belieiving THAT THE TEACHING IS NOT FOR THEM. THEY ARE SOMEHOW ABOVE THE ABILITY OF NEEDING GOD TO SPEAK TO THEIR HEART OR TO INSTRUCT THEM THROUGH THE PREACHING OF HIS WORD.

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

ill. Paul rebuking the Corinthians used sarcasm and said - 1Co 4:10  We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

ill. Job put it like this - Job 12:2  No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

app. Here God's Word today - if you aren't teachable - you will never learn. If you don't understand your need for God - you will never get God. Pro 16:5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

transition: God chose a man who was teachable, a man of surrender, boldness, faith, wisdom, honour,...

 

VII. God chose a man who wasn't perfect.

John 19:38  And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

exp. Joseph was bold before Pilate. He didn't consent to the Sanhedrins condemnation of Jesus. However, he is just stepping out to serve the Lord and sadly it is after the death of the Lord. HE MAY HAVE WAITED TOO LONG - BUT HE WAS GOING TO MAKE THE DECISION. 

 

HE MAY REGRET BEING A SECRET FOLLOWER - BUT HE WAS GOING TO MAKE THE DECISION NOW TO PLEASE GOD.

 

app. God isn't expecting you to be perfect to serve Him. You may come to Him today - protesting your failures and unworthiness to come to Him for service. You can come with confidence - because GOD DOESN'T EXPECT YOU TO BE PERFECT - Psa 103:14  For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

app. Let me just encourage you to come and let Him help you to be what He wants you to be.

 

Conclusion: Joseph in heaven is going to gaze on the body of the Lord Jesus Christ and remember the day that he took the lifeless body of our Lord off of the cross, lovingly prepared it for burial and put it in His own tomb. I stood at the Garden tomb and marvelled  at the resurrection of the Lord - Joseph would stand at his own tomb which the Lord borrowed for those three days.

 

He was the man God chose. Would God chose you?

Are you willing to come to him with your imperfections and let him perfect you?

Are you teachable? 

Are you surrendered?

Are you boldly serving Him?

Are you a person of faith looking for His coming kingdom?

Are you wise enough to do what is right when everyone else does what is wrong?

 

Are you a person of honour? Integrity? Goodness?