When you lose the vote …
Luke 23: 50-56
“Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.”
The process of the deterioration of the dead body took some time. The bodies would be laid on ledges inside the tombs and coated with various spices to offset the smell. Once the process had been completed they bones would be placed in a box for the family, the ossuary.
But Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb where there was no one else. His was the only body in that tomb.
Luke is keen to point out that there were eyewitnesses to where Jesus had been placed, there was no confusion. It was Joseph’s tomb. Secondly, the women knew where it was, when they returned with spices after observing the Sabbath, they would not be wondering where it was, they would not get it wrong. Thirdly, something very important. Not all the Religious Council found Jesus guilty and deserving of death.
Someone had said NO. He had not consented. It means he did not vote the way of the majority. There was at least one other. John in his gospel (19:39-40) tells us that a colleague named Nicodemus was also of the same mind as Joseph. He had encountered Jesus during one amazing night some time previously and was now a believer.
But notice something profound.
Saying NO can result in you having to take responsibility for the majorities YES.
Who went courageously to Pilate to ask for the body?
Mark writes that he went boldly, he took the risk. (15:43)
Who had to lower the cross to the floor?
Who had to pull out the horrible nails in the body?
Imagine the sadness of this.
Who then wrapped the body in a linen cloth and carried it to a new tomb?
The women who followed knew.
It was the one who had lost the vote.
When you lose the vote you can be seen to do the most beautiful of acts.
You may not get what you want but you can take care of what is lost.
You can speak well.
You can stand out, take a risk and be courageous.
You can show wonderful attention.
You don’t have to wash your hands you can get them dirty.
Losing the vote can bring the best out of you.