Sermon by Pastor Tom Brown · Mar 24, 2024 · Mark Series

In Vietnam, a woman secretly spreads the gospel of Jesus throughout her village despite the confiscation of her property and repeated threats. “I will not forsake my mission. If they kill me, I die for the Lord.”

How does someone gain that kind of courage?

In Mark 15, we learn the story of a man who discovered courage and became a vital link in the gospel story of Jesus.

Joseph of Arimathea was a man of wealth and influence who had been a secret disciple of Jesus, hiding his faith for fear of the Jewish leaders. But when he enters the story, something has changed.

After he watched the Lord breath his last on the cross, Joseph “took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.” (v 43)

Standing in the shadow of death brought clarity to Joseph. Whatever fears had held him back no longer seemed significant. Wealth, reputation, influence, status – it just doesn’t seem the same in the face of death.

Fearful timidity just doesn’t seem viable in the shadow of the courageous self-sacrificing love of Christ.

As we linger in the shadow of the cross this week, may we find the same clarity and courage.

“We cannot pick and choose the timing of our decision to follow or to reject Jesus Christ, as though the issue could be delayed. God thrusts us into circumstances which confirm once and for all time the decisions and directions of our hearts. AS we come to the closing chapter of the Gospel it is time for us to ask ourselves: Where do I stand? With Pilate? Or with Joseph?” -Sinclair Ferugson

Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown