Craving His Body
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.
What I want to share today might not be as polished as you or any other person would like it to look, but I plead with you to humor me and let the Holy Spirit speak to you through it.
Our opening scripture above is a portion of scripture that I have read and reread over the years but which God had just recently spoken to me over. In my Bible Study group, where we meet daily online to discuss two verses of scripture, I have shared this as well. Let me hope it speaks to you as it spoke to me. Can you imagine for a moment what would the dead body of Christ imprint on your heart?
Jesus had just been crucified, then one of His secret follower’s summons courage to go to Pilate, and (in the words of the KJV) “craved” the body of Jesus (Mark 15:43 KJV). That word struck me. And here was the next scripture that echoed in my heart while I pondered thereon:
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10
Yes, that last phrase was the echo. I asked increasingly for clarity from the Lord on this subject, and questions and answers flowed that gave the clarity you now read.
Who could be asking for the dead body of Christ? No one in their right mind. From the natural standpoint, Jesus would only be “useful” as a living being, not as “dead”, right? Everyone followed the living Jesus, venerated the living Jesus, and touched the hem of the living Jesus’s garment. However, in the body of this “dead” Jesus, there weren’t any clothes, not garment’s hem, no parable, no touch of healing, nothing. Yet, a man “craved” for it. And I asked why.
But, would there be a resurrection without first a death? Would there be the glory without first the Cross? Jesus had lived and then died the most shameful death for all humanity. He had entered shame for us and then resurrected so that we would rise with Him into glory.
Where does this action of Joseph come from? Well, in a figure, Joseph can be seen as the man who not only followed Jesus’s miracle but even in death. He would be the man that did not only want to see the works of Christ on Him but also the death of Christ in him.
So, he craved to see and have the dead body of the Christ, put it in his own carved out tomb, which represents his death. It was like saying, this tomb was carved for me, now it’s occupied by one in place of me. He has died my death, so now I can live His life. And so, when the Savior arises, we would live and be found in Him. I in Him and He in me.
Joseph, like Paul in Phil. 3:10 wanted to be conformed to his Savior in life as well as in death, so that, in the resurrection, the Savior would rise in his place, just like in death, He was buried in his place.
Here is what Paul writes about this subject of death and resurrection so that you can see the need for you to crave His body, His Cross for yourself just as you crave His life:
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Romans 6:3
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now, if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16, 24-25
Romans above places emphasis on why you must die this death. It is the death of the flesh. And the thing about it is that it is something you learn to do and keep daily. Paul said I die daily (1Cor. 15:31). I do not need to tell you what happens when you begin to crave this death in your body so that you can resurrect above the cravings of the flesh. Paul already stated that in Romans above.
But I assure you that pride will disappear, lust, greed, covetousness, unforgiveness, fear, attachment to this world, sins, and addictions will nowhere found when that comes into reality in your life. There will be brokenness and the fear of the Lord. You won’t contend with Him, and whatever/wherever He sends you, you’ll do/go without question.
And truly, it can happen. It begins with those who crave for it. Do you crave for His death in your body so that His life can be seen in you? Or do you still cling to your own life that you may lead it as you want?
James Osayande George lives by the mandate to reveal the liberating truth of God’s word in simplicity and accuracy through a cutting edge teaching ministry.
Having been saved at the young age of thirteen (13) years old through a Divine encounter, he has since dedicated himself to know and serve the Lord with his life.
Best known for his calm voice, James George has ministered in full-time ministry since 2014 within which period he served as one-time resident pastor of Glad Tidings Life Triumphant Church, Kaduna State, Nigeria under his spiritual father and mentor, Pastor Moses Enabulele.
A student of the prestigious Kenneth Hagin’s Rhema Bible Training Center, Nigeria, James George is the author and co-author of numerous published and unpublished manuscripts and poems for blogs and magazines, as well as books including Walking through the Word Devotional (a classic all year round devotional book). Your Journey and God is his first published book. He runs a blog at www.thischariot.wordpress.com
He is the pioneer of G. M. M. Network, a body of believers dedicated to church growth, spiritual development, youth, and women empowerment, as well as outreach to the less privileged. He currently resides in and does his ministry from Lagos State, Nigeria