Pray: To open your time together.
Read: John 19:38-40
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
What do we do when life does not turn out as we had planned? The question isn’t if, but when significant change comes to our lives. Our relationships. Our work. Our health. Everything in our lives is continuously shifting and sometimes the hardest realization is how little control we actually have of our circumstances. So, the question we must wrestle with is how we will react to change and even disappointment when it arrives.
Many of the “heroes” we are discussing in our current teaching series are not significant because of their ability to avoid challenges in life, but instead the character and faith they display in the midst of challenges. Such is the story of a man named Joseph. John 19 gives us a short story of a man named Joseph who was a “secret” disciple of Jesus. Joseph loved and followed Jesus, but political and religious unrest made it dangerous to be known as a Jesus-follower.
Even in that dangerous environment Joseph loved Jesus enough to take the risk of tending to Jesus’ dead body after the crucifixion. Although Jesus was considered both an enemy to Rome and to the religious community, both of whom had Jesus crucified, Joseph loved Jesus enough to associate himself with the radical by taking his body from the cross and caring for it before taking it to the tomb. Joseph’s simple act of love and honor for Jesus, without knowing what will come on resurrection Sunday, gives us a beautiful example of a life fully dedicated to Christ.
- As you read the story of Joseph what stands out to you most? Why do you think Joseph was compelled to tend to Jesus’ dead body?
- We have the benefit of knowing that Jesus will soon rise from the grave, but Joseph didn’t know that when he tended to Jesus body. What does this tell us about the impact Jesus must have had on Joseph’s life?
- Imagine the disappointment, fear, and maybe even anger that Joseph must have experienced seeing Jesus die on the cross. Joseph was a disciple and believed that Jesus was the promised messiah who would redeem the world. Can you identify with the feelings Joseph must have experienced? Have you experienced disappointment, fear or anger that left you questioning God?
- In the end, we know that Jesus does rise from the grave, but Joseph gives us a beautiful example of faith and hope in waiting time before we see the fulfillment of God’s promises. Is there something you are waiting for God to do in this season? Share those hopes with your group.
Spend some time praying for one another. Ask if anyone has prayer requests for the week ahead and pray for those who share what it is they are hoping and praying for God to do in their life.