After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there. ~ John 19:38-42
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were both believers, but they held important positions and kept their discipleship secret. They were more concerned about losing power or prestige than making the name of Jesus known. However, that changed after the crucifixion. They publicly asked for and received the body of Jesus, anointed it for burial, and buried it in a new tomb. Even though they must have thought that Jesus’ death meant He could not be the long-awaited Messiah, they loved Him enough to ensure that His body was treated properly and with respect. They found their courage in Jesus’ time of need.
Lord, I want to be like Joseph and Nicodemus after the crucifixion—ready to attach my name to Jesus, ready to show the world that I am His follower. Guard me from being like Joseph and Nicodemus before the resurrection—too concerned about what others thought to identify themselves with Jesus. In His name. Amen.