Crucifixion was the most horrible form of execution humanity has ever devised. It was such a degrading thing that those crucified could not be buried in a traditional cemetery. Very often, their bodies were simply thrown on the constantly smoldering garbage heap (Gehenna) outside the city walls. Since Jesus was crucified, he would have to be considered unclean and denied burial in a Jewish cemetery. But for some reason, a rich man intervened.
Joseph of Arimathea was a very wealthy and powerful Jew. Even though he was a member of the ruling council, he had at some time chosen to be a follower of Jesus. But he was also afraid of what his fellow Jews would think and what it would do to his wealth, prominence, and influence. So, to protect himself, he kept his love for Jesus a secret. Yet, there was something in Jesus’ death that caused him to go public. In fact, he went so public that he went before Pilate and asked permission to bury Jesus in a tomb that had been reserved for his family. Now, that was a public profession of faith!
Let me ask you a question: In your daily life, are you really one of those secret Christians? Would people at the office know for sure that you are a follower of Jesus? Would your family? Would you neighbors?
Let’s all use Joseph as an example – a model – to move from being only a “secret” follower to a fully devoted “public” follower of Jesus.