In first century Palestine, there were many political alliances and authorities. One of those was a powerful court called the Sanhedrin Council. John refers to the Council this way:
“…many believed in [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” – John 12:42-43 NKJV
Notice the important detail at the beginning, “many believed” but compromised for fear of losing praise and privilege. Later however, within that same hyper-political environment, Luke mentions this happening after the crucifixion:
“There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, who had not agreed to their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed.” -Luke 23:50-53 HCSB
The difference between Joseph and many others was simply this; he acted on his convictions regardless of the threat to his position and status. He may have been timid before, but at the end of the day he stood on his convictions. He was not only willing to be identified with Christ; he was also willing to be involved in the hands-on work of burial.
Do you have core convictions? Are you willing to stand on them today, even if it conflicts with the social norms of your peers and/or “political correctness”? If not, then the beliefs you claim are probably just strong preferences…and not really convictions.
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