The Most Powerful Spice in The World

giving God your best

The Most Powerful Spice in The World

These are the pastors actual sermon notes.  Depending on time, the Holy Spirit, and how thing go in the church service the actual sermon may vary.

John 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

What does it say

Joseph goes to Pilate and asks to be able to bury Jesus- pilate says yes. Nicodemus shows up with a bunch of spices. They take and bind Jesus in linen and spices, and put him in a new tomb

There is so much going on in this story! So much to gather from it

In this story- we see some people giving and doing their best

Here’s the question- Are you giving your best to Jesus?

lets look at this

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  • Joseph had courage
    Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus
  • but there are a few other points of his life that are important to note-
  • Mark 15:43 he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin
  • Mark 15:46 he purchased the fine linen
  • Matthew 27:57 57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
  • Joseph was rich
  • Now- I’m sure that back then, its no different than now- rich people have influence-
  • There is nothing wrong with Money- its what you DO with money that makes it good or bad
  • So what Joseph did here has some big implications if you can see it-
  • Rich man, disciple of Jesus, goes directly to the Governor that condemn Jesus and asks for the body
  • Folks- thats courageous- Here’s a guy who had a lot to lose- stature, money, prestige and he is the one who goes and asks for Jesus body
  • Now, for some of you- you might be thinking- whats the big deal? Its just a body!
  • But Pilate knew the impact Jesus could have- he was all but crucified to stop an uprising by his followers-
  • but Pilate gives him the body to be buried- Josephs courage to ask pays off- he wants to give Jesus a proper burial, no matter what the cost- to honor Jesus
  • Here’s the question- Are you being courageous for Jesus
  • The bible has alot to say about courage-
giving God your best
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • 2 tim 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
  • are you willing to risk losing what you have for doing the right thing?
  • Now listen- I’m not sitting here trying to encourage you to go and find ways to make people mad or make it on TV
  • I’m just asking- how often do you lean on the Holy Spirit to give you courage to do what you know God would have you to do in a situation?
  • Situations like
  • Stepping up to help someone in need
  • Speaking up for truth in social situations
  • putting limits on what you will allow your children to do
  • Setting boundaries on what you will do as couple with other people
  • Standing up to family when you feel like your convictions are being challenged
  • Objecting to religious harassment in the workplace or in school
  • These are things that require the courage of the Saints to combat this evil age!
  • 1 cor 16 13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
  • You must use discernment- People say “Jesus didn’t utter a word” and thats TRUE when he was going to the CROSS but he sure did have a lot to say to people in the mean time
  • Being silent as Christians hasn’t gotten us very far. We are being marginalized on a daily basis by society- Movies, TV, Music, Education, Politics, Commerce etc
  • Folks- They do not want to hear what you have to say or the God that you believe in
  • It doesn’t say what he said to Pilate- but he didn’t sit back and let someone else handle it he stepped up with COURAGE and asked him-
  • Sure, he did it secretly- and there is nothing wrong with that- BUT HE STILL DID IT
  • Philippians 1: 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation,[a] and that from God.
giving God your best
  1. Nicodemus
  • Good ol’ Nicodemus shows up in the story here-
  • now some of you may remember him from chapter 3. He was the guy who came to Jesus at night to talk to him.
  • Nicodemus was a pharisee and he asked Jesus what he had to do to gain eternal life
  • And Jesus told him “you must be born again”
  • This is where we get the term “born again” Christians.
  • Nicodemus is mentioned one other time in Chapter 7 but we dont hear from him until now
  • I’m guessing Nicodemus got born again. Because here he is at the burial of Jesus and he shows up big time
  • The Bible says that Nicodemus brought 100 lbs of aloe and myrrh for the burial of Jesus
  • Folks- that is about 100 times more than you need. Nicodemus brought enough spices to embalm 100 people for the burial of Jesus
  • Now these guys didnt’ know Jesus was going to come back from the dead- they were going with Jewish custom which was spices- about 1lb
  • Nic. brings 100 lbs. in todays prices thats about 250k worth of spices according to some estimations
  • Its clear that Nic had wealth. Abundant wealth. And what does he do with it? spends it on Jesus burial
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  • Now money is just money- and I don’t want to get that wrapped up around the axel around it but this is an amazing extravagance
  • It reminds me of the woman who washed Jesus feet with the oil- unneeded abundance
  • John 12- you’ll remember Judas was mad that Judas questioned the value of pouring oil on Jesus feet v5 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
  • some people are probably asking this same question- why use this much value on a dead body?
  • well, this rich man Nicodemus saw value in it. He apparently wanted to give Jesus his best
  • How would this story have read if it said ” and Jesus was thrown into a mass grave with the rest of the criminals”
  • No- For whatever reason- Nicodemus wanted to bring forth a huge costly gift
  • Are you giving God your best?
  • One of the worst theologies that has infiltrated the Christian church is this idea of believing and thats it- this cheap grace or sloppy agape type of theology
  • Its a theology that says ” you dont have to do anything to prove your love for God” which is true- but if you do love God, why would you take that road out?
  • before we moved into this building- Pastor Igor was telling me about how his church people  were giving him push back on all the improvements they were doing on the building
  • why are we doing this for someone else? he said “its for God, not for them”
  • make no mistake- people honored Jesus when he was here. They revered him. People revered God. This hasn’t changed.
  • But for some reason- people dont have any sense of giving their best anymore- its always “just good enough” or enough to get by
  • what is it in your life that you give your best? With your kids? With your spouse? With your hobbies? With yourself?
  • Col 3:23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
  • That was written to bondservants- people who were in forced labor- work unto Jesus!
  • Col 3:17 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
  • Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
  • The truth is that 200 years ago many a people would have starved because they didn’t do what they needed to do to plant and harvest
  • I’d guess that youd only go through that one year before you’d work hard the next
  • My point?
  • Give your best to God! Your absolute best! I know I say this alot- but not to earn your salvation but because your salvation is already earned!
  • many people treat their kids better than they treat Jesus, or their spouse, or their job
  • Yes, you can show up late to church and go to heaven, but why? You’re missing out on fellowship and giving God a few more praises
  • If you knew that Jesus was going to come for a visit how would you clean the church?
  • If you knew that he was going to be preaching that day?
  • If he called you and said, there’s this task I want you to complete for me?
  • If he sent you an email and said, there’s a friend of mine I need you to spend some time with
  • We’ve got to be people who give God our absolute BEST
  • oh pastor- tell me more about how much God loves me- I dont want to feel bad
  • I admit- I’m a bit OCD, so this fires me up. I love order and perfection
  • and I know God doesn’t require perfection from me, or that I have to earn my salvation, but man, I want to honor God with my life!
  • I dont complain about tithing- I dont complain when we give an offering. I wish I could give even more- have you ever written a 1000 dollar check to Jesus just because?
  • because either hes paying attention or hes not
  • Look at Joseph
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  1. New Tomb
  • 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid.
  • Joseph bought the linens and gave up his tomb. This was normal- families would buy a tomb before someone was dead and keep it for when they died.
  • A pretty special place. Again, expensive- Joseph gave his up! He gave up what he needed for himself to give to Jesus!
  • His BEST. Now, I know we say this and I mean it- God needs your soul first and foremost
  • but watch this- Joseph gave up his tomb for Jesus- and POW 3 days later- he gets it back!
  • Give your best to God- and I promise- he will give it back to you 10 fold.
  • Now dont think I’ve gone crazy- but I believe these verses
  • Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life
  • Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6 The Cheerful Giver 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
  • God always repays generosity with generosity. Every single time
  • Pastor Jay- that guy is blessed- why? because his family is a blessing! all they do is bless people!
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