He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. Luke 23:50-51
As a physician, I occasionally have medical students follow me. For apparent credentialing purposes, one of the student’s schools recently requested my resume. So, I pulled it up on my computer, dusted it off, and updated it. As I looked at it, it didn’t seem all that useful. My educational and professional career boiled down to a couple pages couldn’t possibly tell anyone who I really am. I could have added some interesting, sordid details, but that didn’t seem appropriate for the context.
In today’s passage, we’re given a brief, but beautiful resume for Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried Jesus after his crucifixion. We don’t know much about him, but we know that he was a leader whom others considered to be a good man. He followed Jesus secretly for fear of the other Jewish leaders (John 19:38) and he truly wanted to know the kingdom of God. Despite his fear of being condemned, he boldly went to Pilate, asked for Jesus’ body, and gave him a proper burial.
All we know of Joseph of Arimathea is there, in just a few sentences. It’s not much, but it is more than the typical resume. Reading this synopsis of Joseph’s life, got me thinking, What if those we know best wrote a synopsis of our lives? I’m not talking about the white-washed eulogy given at a funeral. I’m asking about an honest assessment of us. What would a truthful, frank resume look like?
Would our spouses and children be able to say that we’re good and righteous? Or, would they have to admit that we’re selfish, angry, bigoted, greedy, gluttonous, lustful, and arrogant. Would our actions reveal that we love God and those around us? Or, would our loved ones say that we live for ourselves? Would our coworkers know that our faith is the most important thing to us? Or, would they know us for our love of sports?
I’m not suggesting that we live for what others think. I am however, suggesting that we be honest about who we are. Unfortunately, many of us think we’re far better people than our actions reveal. What would an honest resume say? Do we, like Joseph, follow God, or do we live only for ourselves?