“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.”
Matthew 27:57-61 NKJV
Unfettered from fear
As the Lord Jesus did His work, there were some who followed Him openly, laying aside their reputations, and possibly their futures to become followers of Jesus. This was no mean feat, for doing so, was to be exposed to persecution and even expulsion from the synagog.
Those who chose to follow were truly walking by faith, for the Pharisees had programmed to populace to believe that there was no salvation outside of their religious system. But these people chose to follow the Lord.
It became even more dangerous for the followers of Jesus when He was crucified, for it meant that anyone that followed Him could be hunted down.
In the face of this, Joseph of Arimathea, stepped forward to receive the remains of Jesus. This was a powerful moment, for Joseph had been a secret follower of the Lord, and now He was stepping out boldly, risking everything, for He was a wealthy man of great prominence.
When Jesus died on the cross, many supernatural things happened in the city, that served as a confirmation of who He said He was. The world went dark for three hours, the earth quaked, the veil in the temple was rent and the dead saints arose.
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!””
Matthew 27:45-54 NKJV
Joseph had seen those things that had happened when His Lord died on the cross, and He was now unafraid, unfettered from fear.
It is the fear of the world that keeps the modern day Christian quiet, for we are those who seek to straddle heaven and earth, having favor in this world, but professing Jesus in our hearts. We go to church on Sunday, but compromise the rest of the week. We apologize for the “narrow minded bigotry”, of those who adhere to the word, though inwardly we know that it is all true.
We desire to be like the world, bearing the markings of the culture within and without, and saying nothing when given the opportunity to share a word from God.
I tell you the truth, we have no excuse. Joseph did not yet have the Holy Spirit, yet in the most dangerous of times, He stood. The disciples were huddled together in one room awaiting the promise of the Holy Spirit, yet they did not flee.
They had only His words and His promise to reflect on.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.””
Acts 1:4-8 NKJV
But, then it happened.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.”
Acts 2:14-18 NKJV
I know that many of us are fearful in the perilous days, where it seems increasingly unpopular to be a Christian. Those who strike out with boldness are met with rejection, consternation, and often experience great oppression from the evil one. I know how that feels.
But, again, I tell you the truth: the Lord is faithful and He is constant in reminding me that He is with me. As I have suffered the loss of all earthly things, He has replaced them with Himself, for I know the fellowship of the Father and the Son, and daily indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I have learned that when the Lord calls one to take action, He provides the power to do it, for He has called us, He equips us.
Brothers and sisters, things are going to become a lot more perilous, for the demons of this world are doubling down, and bent on taking the young to hell. Just as the the early disciples knew that Jesus was with them, even as they endured daily threats, so too will we.
“And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 4:23-31 NKJV
Let us in the midst of the coming trouble be ones who call upon the Lord for our strength, that we be bold, empowered by the cross, to go and tell others of the Good News.
Like them, there is coming a time when the Lord will once again fill and and empower the saints.
““And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
Joel 2:28-29 NKJV
Let us not wait until then, for the Lord has already given is all that we need for a godly life and witness of this great salvation. Let us go ab out with boldness, completely unfettered from fear.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
II Peter 1:2-4 NKJV
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One thought on “Unfettered from fear”
This essay was a challenge and a healing Palmer Bernie. Thanks so much!
We had a leader meeting last night, and I know I handled my part poorly. Thank you for the many reminders of our weakness, and God’s faithfulness.
Will you please pray that I will repent appropriately for my mistakes during the meeting last night?
Will you please pray that the Lord will bring us a couple of new leaders, to replace a couple who are going out with our church plant?
Thanks so much, my friend!