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One Of The Sublimest Grandest Acts

that any man ever did. In that darkness and gloom, His disciples
having all forsaken Him; Judas having sold Him for thirty pieces of
silver; the chief apostle Peter having denied Him with a curse,
swearing that he never knew Him; the chief priests having found Him
guilty of blasphemy; the Council having condemned him to death; and
when there was a hiss going up to heaven over all Jerusalem, Joseph
went right against the current, right against the influence of all
his friends, and begged the body of Jesus.

Blessed act! Doubtless he upbraided himself for not having been more
bold in his defence of Christ when He was tried, and before He was
condemned to be crucified. The Scripture says he was an honorable
man, an honorable councillor, a rich man, and yet we have only the
record of that one thing--the one act of begging the body of Jesus.
But I tell you, that what he did for the Son of God, out of pure
love for Him, will live for ever; that one act rises up above
everything else that Joseph of Arimathea ever did. He might have
given large sums of money to different institutions, he might have
been very good to the poor, he might have been very kind to the
needy in various ways; but that one act for Jesus Christ, on that
memorable, that dark afternoon, was one of the noblest acts that a
man ever did. He must have been a man of great influence, or Pilate
would not have given him the body.

And now you see another secret disciple, Nicodemus. Nicodemus and
Joseph go to the cross. Joseph is there first, and while he is
waiting for Nicodemus to come, he looks down the hill; and I can
imagine his delight as he sees his friend coming with a hundred
pounds of ointment. Although Jesus Christ had led such a lowly life,
He was to have a kingly anointing and burial. God has touched the
hearts of these two noble men and they drew out the nails, and took
the body down, washed the blood away from the wounds that had been
made on His back by the scourge, and on His head by the crown of
thorns; then they took the lifeless form, washed it clean, and
wrapped it in fine linen, and Joseph laid Him in his own sepulchre.

When all was dark and gloomy, when His cause seemed to be lost, and
the hope of the Church buried in that new tomb, Joseph took his
stand for the One "despised and rejected of men." It was the
greatest act of his life; and, my reader, if you want to stand with
the Lord Jesus Christ in glory; if you want the power of God to be
bestowed upon you for service down here, you must not hesitate to
take your stand boldly and manfully for the most despised of all
men--the Man Christ Jesus. His cause is unpopular. The ungodly sneer
at His name. But if you want the blessings of heaven on your soul,
and to hear the "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou
into the joy of thy Lord," take your stand at once for Him; whatever
your position may be, or however much your friends may be against
you. Decide for Jesus Christ, the crucified but risen Savior. Go
outside the camp and bear His reproach. Take up your cross and
follow Him, and by and by you will lay it down and take the crown to
wear it for ever.

I remember some meetings being held in a locality where the tide did
not rise very quickly, and bitter and reproachful things were being
said about the work. But one day, one of the most prominent men in
the place rose and said:

"I want it to be known that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and if
there is any odium to be cast on His cause, I am prepared to take my
share of it."

It went through the meeting like an electric current, and a blessing
came at once to his own soul and to the souls of others.

Depend upon it, there is

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