As Christians’ annual 40-day walk with the Lord comes to an end and Holy Week draws near, faithful around the world will gather to celebrate the highest season of the Church. Once again, on the day of Christ’s crucifixion they will hear of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Almost unnoticed in scripture, but highlighted each year at this time, will be the man John describes as a “secret disciple of Christ for fear of the Jews,” Joseph of Arimathea, who finally found the courage to come forward and request the body of the Lord for burial.
It took the witness of the death of Jesus to give Joseph the ardor to speak out. The world today, especially locally, in our nation and cities, does not need any more secret disciples. What it needs is men and women who have witnessed the passion of the Lord and have received his Spirit to shout from the rooftops.
This is a crucial time for the Lord’s voice to be heard. As the Evil One is being exposed for who he is, he is becoming more vocal. As human dignity, religious liberty, and the rights of the oppressed and unborn are on trial, he cannot be the loudest witness against God’s will. Contrary to logic, advocates of evil use the silent voices of the secret disciples as evidence they do not exist, presuming evil is in the majority. These righteous yet inaudible, secret voices can be silent no more and must speak out against all the oppositions to Jesus’ gospel. The next generation of disciples depends on it.